Rosamond Gifford Zoo will have two koalas for the summer

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — All good things come in two, right?

A dynamic duo was created when the elephant twins were born at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in November, and it’s happening again, but for a limited time.

These two female koalas, Kumiri and Kolet, came from the San Diego Zoo to the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in May of 2023 as a part of the Conservation and Education Loan Program.

The program works to educate and motivate people to understand and care for this Australia-based marsupial.

“Koalas are rare in American zoos. Only 10 zoos in the United States are permitted to care for koalas by the Australian government and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service,” said Ted Fox, the executive director of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo.

The population of koalas is on the decline, deforestation and forest fires are wiping them out by the millions. The Rosamond Gifford Zoo says, as arboreal animals, when koalas lose their trees, they lose their homes and will wander in search of food and shelter.

Without trees, they’re without homes, leading them to wander and more susceptible to danger. This includes being killed by other animals, getting hit by cars, or dying from disease.

“Participation in the program helps generate funding to support San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance research and conservation initiatives in collaboration with our koala conservation partners around the world,” said the Rosamond Gifford Zoo.

The West Coast girls will be staying temporarily in the Koala Outpost.

“Featuring a new species at the zoo is always something to look forward to, but when they are as rare as these koalas, the anticipation becomes exhilarating,” said Friends Executive Director Carrie Large. “These koalas give us the chance to fulfill our conservation mission by providing care to an increasingly vulnerable species while educating the public to help connect them to care about all wildlife.”

You can visit them until September with general paid admission. You can find more information on the zoo’s website, or on their social media.

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