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Young koalas at Taipei Zoo ready to leave mothers' pouches

2017/01/12 16:47:42

Taipei, Jan. 12 (CNA) Two young koalas at Taipei Zoo are ready to take their first tentative steps into the world and could leave their mothers' pouches any time, six months after they were born, the zoo said on Wednesday.

Recently the two infants, the offspring of different pairs of koalas at the zoo, have been observed stretching their heads, arms and legs out of their pouches, a sign that their growth is on track and they are healthy, the zoo said.

There is a good chance that visitors over the next few days will see the baby koalas taking their first steps, the zoo pronounced. However, it also reminded everyone to be as quiet as possible when visiting so as not to frighten the koalas.

Last year, Taipei Zoo successfully paired Q-mei with Flynn and Emily with Q-be. Both couplings produced a baby within nine days of each other in July, and the newborns have since remained in their mothers' pouches, according to the zoo.

Being marsupials, koalas give birth to underdeveloped young about one month after becoming pregnant, Taipei Zoo said. The newborns crawl into their mothers' pouches, where they stay for the first six to seven months of their lives.

(By Ku Chuan and Elizabeth Hsu)
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