One-of-a-Kind Australian Koala Needs Help Getting a Name
Lifestyle| | By Margo Gothelf
The newest baby koala at an Australian zoo is turning heads for its unusual appearance.
The baby koala is a rare species of koala and has bright white fur. The newborn may look like an albino koala, but the white fur comes from a recessive gene.
“In veterinary science it’s often referred to as the ‘silvering gene,’ where animals are born with white or very pale fur and, just like baby teeth, they eventually shed their baby fur and the regular adult coloration comes through,” Dr. Rosie Booth, director of the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital explained to Inside Edition.
The koala joey was born in January, but just recently left the pouch of its mother. The koala was born alongside 12 other koalas, yet was the only one to have fur this color.
According to the BBC, the color of the koala might not last. However, koalas with white or light fur tend to have difficulty surviving in the wild, making the odds better for the newborn in the zoo.
“In the wild animal kingdom, it’s actually quite unfortunate to have unusually light coloration as it makes animals stand out from their camouflage,” Booth told Inside Edition.
The zoo has not yet named the little koala and is asking the public for help. The zoo wants people to leave suggestions on their Facebook page. Popular suggestions include Elsa, Snow White, and Buttercup.
The unnamed koala is currently on display in the “Mums and Bubs” section at the Australia Zoo.
Click here to suggest a name on the Australia Zoo’s Facebook page.