Edinburgh Zoo reveals name of UK’s only koala joey

Edinburgh Zoo have revealed the name of the UK’s only koala joey – and the chosen moniker is a tribute to its native homeland.

The joey, born last June at Edinburgh Zoo, has been named Dameeli – an indigenous Australian word for affection.

Newborn koalas are the size of a jellybean and move straight into the mother’s pouch, where they stay for six months before growing big enough to move on to her back.

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Dameeli was born on June 26 to first time mother Kalari and father Tanami.

Lorna Hughes, animal team leader at Edinburgh Zoo, said: “Dameeli is doing well and grows bigger and more confident every day. At eight months old, he has ventured out of mum Kalari’s pouch and will soon start exploring on his own.

“We wanted to give him a name which would pay tribute to the koala’s native home, and sent a list of suggestions to one of our amazing patrons who whittled it down to Dameeli.

“It has been a hard few months for us as a charity, but the ongoing support from the public, members and patrons has been outstanding.

“We are happy to have begun welcoming visitors back and cannot wait until it is safe enough to open our indoor areas so guests can see our adorable new joey.

The UK's only koala joey - named Dameeli in tribute to its native homeland Australia.

“In the meantime, the public can keep an eye on Dameeli’s dad, Tanami, on our website’s live koala cam.”

Edinburgh Zoo, owned by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, recently reopened to Edinburgh residents, with a host of added safety measures.

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