December 11, 2008
CONTACT: Jason Jacobs/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Come See The Baby Koalas at the L.A. Zoo
The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens will unveil the newest member of the Zoo’s koala family on Friday, December 12, 2008 at 9:30 a.m. Born on April 3, 2008, the newborn koala spent six months developing in the mother’s pouch.
Baby koalas are commonly referred to as joeys. When a koala is born, it is just three-fourths of an inch long. After birth they climb into the mother’s pouch and stay there for six months. For the following six months, they are weaned from milk to eucalyptus as they stick their heads out of the pouch to eat partially digested leaves. After a year, they leave the pouch for good.
Although they are often referred to as a “koala bear,” koalas belong to the marsupial family. Marsupials are mammals whose females typically rear their young in a pouch through early infancy. Other members of the marsupial family are kangaroos, wallabies, wallaroos, wombats and opossums.
Native to Australia, koalas have a very low metabolic rate requiring them to conserve energy and to sleep between 18 and 20 hours a day. They spend about three of their five active hours eating a diet that consists entirely of eucalyptus leaves. Koalas consume 2 ½ pounds of leaves per day and rarely drink water due to the moisture found in eucalyptus leaves.
Take advantage of a great deal to come see the koalas; now through the first of the year, one child is admitted free with a paid adult! So parents can bring their children to the Los Angeles Zoo to see the koalas and pay a visit to Santa’s reindeer while they’re here!
The koalas are available to the media on Friday, December 12, 2008. Park in the Zoo’s main lot and proceed to the bus circle where a cart will transport you to their habitat. To request photos or RSVP, please call (323) 644-4273. Because koalas sleep most of the day, please arrive on time at 9:30 a.m. so you can see them being fed. This is the time they are most active.
The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens is located in Griffith Park at the junction of the Ventura (134) and Golden State (5) freeways. The Zoo is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. For general information, call (323) 644-4200 or visit the website at http://www.lazoo.org.
“Nurturing wildlife and enriching the human experience”
Los Angeles Zoo
5333 Zoo Drive
John R. Lewis