You Can Help Name The Rare White Koala Born At Australia Zoo

Tourism Australia

Established by the Irwin family in 1970, the Australia Zoo in Queensland is one of the biggest wildlife conservation facilities in the world. Visitors are able to see Australia's most unique animals, including kangaroos, lace monitors, tiger snakes and koalas, up close and personal. Now, the zoo has one more rare animal to add to that list.

Back in January, one of the zoo's resident Koalas gave birth to 12 joeys (that's what baby koalas are called) and one of them has noticeably stood out from the rest.

In a strikingly rare occurrence, one of the joeys was born with white fur.

Tourism Australia

"Welcome to the world little one... we love you 'cause you're different," Tourism Australia wrote on its Facebook page on Tuesday.

So adorable! Just wait till you see the rest of the newborn's photos.

According to Australia Zoo's website, the unique koala joey is not albino. Her coloring is due to a recessive gene she inherited from her mother Tia.


"In veterinary science it's often referred to as the 'silvering gene' where animals are born with white or very pale fur and, just like baby teeth, they eventually shed their baby fur and the regular adult colouration comes through," said the zoo's wildlife hospital director Rosie Booth.


The unnamed joey is lucky to have been born at the zoo instead of the wild because with a fur as pale as hers, she would've been an easy target for predators, according to experts like Dr. Alistair Melzer, an ecologist at Central Queensland University.

"It is something that would be selected against in the wild," he told BBC. Adding that he hasn't seen a white koala in over 20 years of observing wildlife.


Thankfully, the only thing this joey has to worry about is what moniker she'll be given. The zoo has turned to the public for some help with picking a name for the special koala.

So far, suggestions include Elsa (inspired by the Disney princess), Snowflake, Pearl, Leanne, Lucky, Diamond, Djendaladi (meaning "white-haired" in the Noongar language), Sugar, Snow White, and Daenerys (a Game of Thrones character who also has white hair).

Australia Zoo's First Ever White Koala Joey

Welcome to the world little one... we love you 'cause you're different ❤️ Australia Zoo needs your help in choosing her name. Leave your suggestions in the comments below.

Posted by on Monday, August 21, 2017

You can leave your name suggestions in the comments on the announcement video posted to Tourism Australia's Facebook page.

What do you think this koala joey should be named?