Baby koala emerges from mother's pouch at ZooTampa
TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - ZooTampa's first baby koala is making its debut!
Zookeepers said the koala joey, which started out as an embryo the size of a jellybean, made its way into its mom's pouch in late May, where it will finish its final stages of "pouch life development."
Like other marsupials, koala newborns develop in their mothers' pouches rather than a womb.
"Initially, a joey is blind and earless and relies on natural instincts and strong senses of touch and smell to find its way from the birth canal to its mother’s pouch," the zoo said..
The zoo shared photos of their newest member of the family on Tuesday, as the baby revealed its entire face when peeking out of its mother's pouch.
According to the zoo, the joey will stay close to its mom for the next year or so, until it can climb trees on its own.
Mom Ceduna and dad Heathcliff gave birth to the first baby koala in the zoo's history as part of the zoo's participation in the Species Survival Plan.
Last month, the Australian Koala Foundation said koalas may be "functionally extinct" in Australia, and believe there are no more than 80,000 left on the continent.
Guests can catch a glimpse of Ceduna and her new baby at the zoo's Australia habitat called Wallaroo Station.