The baby Koala is the first child for proud parents Mackenzie and Nyoonbi

By Eric Todisco
August 26, 2020 04:44 PM
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Kyle Lanzer/Cleveland Metroparks

The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo has welcomed a very special addition to its family Tuesday.

For the first time in nearly a decade, a baby koala was born at the Ohio-based zoo, which is home to hundreds of diverse species.

The birth of the baby koala, known as a joey, is a first for proud parents Mackenzie and Nyoonbi.

As the zoo explained on Instagram, joeys live in their mom’s pouch for 6 months, so zookeepers had been keeping a close eye on Mackenzie after first noticing possible pouch movements back in May.

Kyle Lanzer/Cleveland Metroparks

On Tuesday, the joey officially left the pouch & climbed onto mom Mackenzie's lap, the zoo said.

According to the zoo, guests have the opportunity to see the adorable mother-baby duo at the Gumleaf Hideout in the zoo's Australian Adventure exhibit on even-numbered calendar dates between 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Kyle Lanzer/Cleveland Metroparks

Tickets to see the joey can be bought here.

Koalas are listed as vulnerable by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Concern for the future of the koala, which was named "functionally extinct" last year, grew exponentially after devastating bushfires burned through much of the animal's native habitat in Australia.