The Palm Beach Zoo is celebrating the arrival of a new resident. Katherine the koala has just arrived from the Los Angeles Zoo.
"Katherine is coming to us on a Species Survival Plan (SSP) breeding recommendation," said Nancy Nill, the Zoo's associate curator. "We are excited to welcome her to our family."
Katherine traveled on a commercial flight and the animal keeper who traveled with her says she was a little nervous at first, but became a pro before long.
Zookeepers say koalas are notoriously picky eaters who consume an exclusive diet of eucalyptus. With the addition of Katherine, Palm Beach Zoo says it will require around 175 pounds of eucalyptus a week, at the cost of around $60,000 a year to feed the pair.
After Katherine goes through the mandated 30 day quarantine period that all new zoo animals face, she will be paired up with the zoo's male koala, Oz. Zoo officials are hopeful the two will produce new generations of koalas.
Photo: Palm Beach Zoo