Baby Imogen Cuddles Up To New Mom And Melts Our Hearts
The Symbio Wildlife Park in Sydney, Australia has great skill in helping a new koala mom to raise her baby.
However in 2015, when two new koala babies were born and one of the mothers passed away, Symbio was at risk of losing one of the babies. Koala moms carry their babies close and have to keep them both warm and well-fed, so tending two is a near impossibility.
At birth, koala babies are very small and fragile. According to the Australian Koala Foundation, they're less than an inch long, hairless and less than a gram in weight. These animals are marsupials and koala mothers carry their babies in a pouch low on their tummy. Once in the pouch, they are warm and safe. They latch on to drink milk within the pouch.
The location of the koala pouch is different from that of the kangaroo. While the kangaroo pouch faces up, the koala pouch is low on the mother's tummy and faces down. When the koala baby is big enough, it leaves the pouch and is carried on the back of the mother.
As demonstrated in the heartwarming video, Kylie creates a pouch for Imogen with a couple of different tools.
She wraps Imogen in a blanket with a stuffed koala toy, then places the blanket bundle inside a vest or jacket and zips Imogen up, snuggly and warm. This bundling protects Imogen in a number of ways. First off, she's warmed by Kylie's body and protected by the fleece. Secondly, the stuffed animal provides cushioning inside the pouch. Finally, it's important to remember that the mother koala's pouch faces down. The muscles guarding the entrance to the pouch are quite strong. Baby koalas are accustomed to and comforted by pressure.
Koalas reach physical maturity at the age of two. While koalas feed nearly exclusively on eucalyptus, Imogen also gets a bottle of formula to help her put on weight and grow stronger. As she gets older, her diet will be mostly eucalyptus.
An interesting side note: the digest system of a koala is actually quite remarkable. The eucalyptus plant that they most enjoy is actually toxic to many animals, but the koala digestive system can neutralize it and gain nutrition from it.
Need a Feel Good Moment?
Baby Imogen is a treasure and this video will give you the warm fuzzy you need today. Make sure you pass along the story of Imogen, Kylie, and Matt with friends and loved ones and drop a comment.