Koala gets Valentine's Day mate

Posted at: 02/14/2013 10:08 AM
Updated at: 02/14/2013 6:11 PM
By: KOB.com staff

Photo: Netty the Koala
Photo: Netty the Koala

Just in time for Valentine's Day, 'Luke' the koala has gotten a mate at the Albuquerque BioPark.

Wednesday night, a female Queensland koala named 'Netty' from the Los Angeles Zoo arrived at the ABQ BioPark Zoo.

After a few weeks behind-the-scenes, the seven-year-old female will join Luke in the Koala Creek Exhibit. They are a recommended breeding pair, and zookeepers hope for koala joeys in the upcoming year.

'Netty' was born at the Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia. She was mother-reared and transfered to the LA Zoo.

She was roommates with Luke before he came to Albuquerque in December. Netty comes to the ABQ BioPark as a recommendation of the Species Survival Plan from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

"We're excited to once again have Queensland koalas here at the BioPark," said Rick Janser, ABQ BioPark Director. "We're honored to be chosen as a breeding facility for these threatened animals."

The ABQ BioPark participates in more than twenty Species Survival Plans, which work as matchmakers for endangered and threatened species. Animal care teams at AZA-accredited facilities across the country partner in breeding efforts and research.

Working together, they're able to maintain healthy, genetically diverse, and demographically varied AZA populations.