Wild Encounters: Lottie the Koala

Wild Encounters

(WJBF) – Today we’re having a very special birthday edition of Wild Encounters! It’s Lottie the Koala’s 19th birthday!

We’re here with the birthday girl, Lottie. So, Christina, let’s talk a little bit about Lottie and what her time has been like here at Riverbanks Zoo.

Christina Dediego, Zookeeper: “So, Lottie is well-known here around the zoo. She is out 19-year-old koala. She is the oldest koala that we have here at Riverbanks and she has had eleven joeys since she came here in 2004, making her the most productive female breeder in the United States population of koalas. So, she’s very special here to us at Riverbanks.”

At 19 years of age, what’s Lottie doing here around at Riverbanks? Is she just hanging out, eating a lot…what’s the average day?

Christina: “So, Lottie’s doing what an average koala does. She’s most active in the morning when we’re giving her fresh eucalyptus, which you see behind me, and then pretty much throughout the day she’s gonna sleep, take naps on and off, and that’s pretty much the life of a koala. Lottie here gets some special care that our other koalas don’t get, but other than that, she’s doing well and acts like a normal koala. About every other month we have an acupuncturist come in who does acupuncture all down Lottie’s spine and along her hips. So, in her older age we have noticed she has a little bit of arthritis. So, with the acupuncture she gets about once a month, she has been able to move around her trees really well, come up and down off the ground, and we’ve noticed a big difference in her daily life.”

So, Lottie’s birthday is coming up. Are we going to be doing anything special for her? Have a birthday party?

Christina: “So, we are definitely going to recognize that Lottie is turning 19. It is a big deal for a koala to get up to almost 20 years old. So, we’re going to make sure that she gets her special treat that day and probably make sure she gets her favorites species of eucalyptus that day.”

If you want to wish Lottie a ‘Happy Birthday,’ you just have to come down here to Riverbanks Zoo.

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