Ellin, the new koala at the Palm Beach Zoo.
Photo by the Palm Beach Zoo.
The Palm Beach Zoo recently welcomed a female Queensland koala, Ellin. The 2-year-old was born at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and now lives with the Palm Beach Zoo’s resident koala, Sydney, a 4-year-old male.
“I am so excited to have Ellin in our animal family,” zoologist Tabbitha Beckens says. “She earned her wings from the Southwest Airlines crew. They said the eucalyptus branches brought along for Ellin to snack on made the whole plane smell wonderful.”
A Queensland koala is a subspecies of a marsupial native to Australia. The Queensland koala is found in the state of Queensland.
Queensland koalas have a slightly different appearance from other subspecies. They are generally smaller with shorter, thicker fur and rounder heads. Their fur can range from gray to brown, and they have distinctive white ear tufts.
Like all koalas, the Queensland koala primarily feeds on eucalyptus leaves and spends most of its life in trees. And like other koala subspecies, the Queensland koala is threatened by habitat loss, disease and deforestation.
“Ellin helps us inform everyone that we can protect the homes of her wild koala counterparts with simple actions like choosing to purchase recycled content. This reduces the need to harvest trees for paper products,” says Renee Bumpus, the chief animal and conservation officer of the Palm Beach Zoo.