Koala born in Florida zoo becomes symbol for hope for Australia

"Hope" was born in May at Zoo Miami. (Ron Magill/Zoo Miami)

MIAMI, Florida (News Center Maine) — The Miami-Dade Zoological Park and Gardens, also known as Zoo Miami, shared the exciting news Thursday of their first koala born in 28 years. In a Facebook post, the zoo said amidst the tragic fires in Australia, they decided to name the joey “Hope.”

“It is our desire that this baby koala will help to bring a small ray of hope to all that are suffering in Australia and be a symbol for a positive future for the priceless wildlife that lives there,” the Facebook post says.

This is the third time in the zoo’s history, but the first time in 28 years, a surviving baby koala has been born.

The joey, or baby koala, was actually born on May 30. It takes six months to be fully developed and considered strong enough to emerge from its mother’s pouch, so the zoo waited to truly celebrate and announce the birth until it did.

According to the zoo's press release, Zoo Miami lost several joeys during the first six months after birth in the past. “So it is not until it finally emerges from the pouch and is strong and healthy that zoo staff can breathe a sigh of relief and truly celebrate!!!”

Zoo Miami will donate $10,000 to the Zoos Victoria Bushfire Emergency Wildlife Fund, “in support of the herculean efforts being undertaken to save the countless animals being affected by this disaster.”

You can contribute to the zoo's donation through https://www.zoo.org.au/fire-fund/ or directly through the Zoo Miami Foundation at https://www.zoomiami.org/donate and write “Australia” in the memo section.

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