A rare white koala has been born at Australia Zoo in Queensland.
She is not albino. Keepers at the zoo say her fur is due to a recessive gene inherited from her mother Tia, who has given birth to other pale joeys – baby koalas – in the past.
In science it’s often referred to as the ‘silvering gene’ where animals are born with white or very pale fur. Just like baby teeth, they eventually shed their baby fur and the regular adult colour comes through.
At this stage the zoo is looking for a name. So far social media has come up with suggestions including Snowflake, Pearl, Sugar, Lily, Snow White and Baringa, which means “dawn” or “light” in the aboriginal language, for a name.
Koalas have been under increasing threat across the Southern Hemisphere nation in recent decades due to bushfires, disease, dog attacks and loss of habitat.
She is one of 12 joeys born at the zoo this season.