May is a 9 month old koala joey that is being hand raised at The Australian Reptile Park by Keeper Hayley. May had to be separated from mum as she was born out of season and mum, so Hayley and May have been together ever since and formed a special bond! When koalas are born out of season it can be very dangerous as the joey will start venturing out of mums pouch right in the middle of winter and the chances of survival are low.
May is still dependant on milk, however she has been starting to eat eucalyptus leaves over the last few weeks and is loving them! Koalas do not have the ability to digest eucalyptus leaves when they are born so they need to build up their immunity to it. This is done by eating something called “Pap”. Pap is a specialised form of faeces, or droppings, which forms an important part of the young Koala’s diet, allowing it to make the transition from milk to eucalyptus leaves, rather like a human baby is fed “mushy” food when it starts to eat solids.
May goes home with Hayley every night and after dinnertime always snuggles in for hugs with Hayley as she falls asleep. Once May is big and strong she will join the other koalas at The Australian Reptile Park as a part of their conservation breeding program to help the species survival.