Rare White Koala Born At Australian Zoo. See The Adorable Pics

The much-loved koala has been under increasing threat across Australia in recent decades, particularly from habitat loss, disease, dog attacks and bushfires.

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Rare White Koala Born At Australian Zoo. See The Adorable Pics

An undated handout from the Australia Zoo shows a white koala joey on her mother Tia (Australia Zoo/AFP)


Sydney, Australia:  A koala at an Australian zoo has given birth to a rare white joey, staff announced Tuesday.

Handlers at the Australia Zoo on Queensland's Sunshine Coast say the pale animal born in January owes its white fur to a recessive gene inherited from mother Tia.

The mother has given birth to light-coloured joeys in the past.  
 
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Photo Credit: Australia Zoo/AFP

"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 in a statement.

Koala fur differs in colour -- from light grey to brown -- depending on their environment. Animals in the south of Australia tend to have thicker and darker fur than those in the north.

But a white koala is incredibly rare, Booth said, and "quite unfortunate" if born in the wild, since it is more visible to predators.
 
koala australian zoo afp 3 650

Photo Credit: Australia Zoo/AFP

The much-loved koala has been under increasing threat across Australia in recent decades, particularly from habitat loss, disease, dog attacks and bushfires.

The joey is yet to be named and Tourism Australia is set to encourage suggestions.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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