Prepare yourself for a cuteness overload: On Aug. 26, a brand-new koala joey emerged from its mom’s pouch at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, and it’s a sweet sight to behold.
The little one, born to mom Mackenzie and dad Nyoonbi, is the first joey born at the zoo in almost a decade. There’s no name just yet, and keepers don’t know the baby’s sex at the moment, but there’s excitement all the same.
The zoo announced the birth Aug. 27 on social media, saying that keepers knew something was up with Mackenzie in May. They’d noticed movement in Mack’s pouch signaling that a joey might be hiding within. And then, last week, there it was!
Check out the “birth announcement” on the zoo’s Facebook page:
Koala joeys come into the world in stages. According to National Geographic, joeys are about the size of a jellybean when they’re first born. They quickly crawl into their mother’s pouch, despite being deaf, blind and hairless.
Mom then closes her pouch with a muscle, and the joey stays warm and protected while it feeds and grows. Then, when it’s ready, the joey emerges from the pouch and begins life in the outside world.
The keepers at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo spotted those early signs back in May, so they knew a new arrival was likely. And now that it’s here, they seem smitten.
The zoo’s taken to social media to share the joy. After that Facebook photo blast, the zoo also posted this adorable photo of the snuggled-up joey on Twitter:
— Cleveland Metroparks Zoo (@clemetzoo) August 29, 2020
If you’re in Cleveland, you can see the happy family on display in the zoo’s Australian Adventure area every other day. And for those of us elsewhere, the zoo’s Instagram account, @clemetzoo, will surely have more snaps in days to come.
Welcome to the world, little joey!