Koala Joey Receiving Round-the-Clock Care
at the San Diego Zoo is Thriving An 8-month-old koala joey being cared for round the clock by San Diego Zoo wildlife care specialists is thriving. The male koala joey, named Omeo (pronounced Ooh-me-ooh), lost his mother due to cancer in mid-December, when he was about 5-and-a-half months old and was still in her pouch. To save the joey’s life, Zoo veterinarians and wildlife care specialists intervened, feeding and caring for the little marsupial.
Omeo requires round-the-clock care, and each day three wildlife care specialists tend to his every need. He is fed a bottle of special milk formula five times a day—at 5:30 a.m., 10 a.m., 2:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. Initially, Omeo was living in a faux pouch inside an incubator, with the temperature and humidity set to simulate conditions in his mother’s pouch. As he has grown, he now spends more time in his exercise setting, where he is learning to explore and build muscle tone, by crawling out of the pouch and climbing up onto the back of his plush “stand-in mom.” Wildlife care specialists take him outdoors at least 10 to 20 minutes a day to provide him time in the sun and acclimate him to sights, sounds and smells of the koalas around him.
When not taking a bottle, exercising or sunning himself, Omeo does what koalas do best—he sleeps most of the day, in his faux pouch or perched in a custom-designed miniature eucalyptus tree. As Omeo continues to grow stronger, his caregivers will encourage him to rely on his own instincts to eat eucalyptus, climb on branches and eventually live in his own habitat at the Zoo’s Australian Outback.
The San Diego Zoo has housed and cared for koalas since 1925 and has the largest colony of koalas—as well as the most successful breeding program—outside of Australia. Staff at the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research are studying koala populations, both at the Zoo and in their Australian h
根據《Fox 5 San Diego》， 動物園資深新生兒輔助護理專員韋伯（Kim Weibel）表示，在去年12月中當無尾熊媽媽去世時，「Omeo」還因為太小無法從育兒袋移出，協調性和發展都非常不足，團隊們都不期待牠能靠自己撐過第一周。然而，在重症監護下，「Omeo」證明了牠是一名勇敢的生命鬥士，他變得更強壯、也更有肌耐力了。韋伯說，目前「Omeo」住在人造的育兒袋裡，溫度和濕度都模擬無尾熊的袋中狀況，每天三位野生動物護理專家會照顧他的需求，每天也會按時餵牠五到六次特殊的奶類替代品。