Nothing says happy birthday like the activity of a baby koala at the Schoenbrunn Zoo in Vienna.
Millaa Millaa jumps between branches and spends time with her mother as the zoo celebrates the koala’s first birthday on April 21.
Koalas are marsupials and native to Australia. They have several singular characteristics, including six opposable “thumbs,” and a proclivity to sleep all day.
Millaa Millaa is the first koala born at the zoo and was roughly the size of a bean when her mother, Bunji, gave birth.
Video shows the pair eating eucalyptus leaves and climbing around branches.
Zoo director Stephan Hering-Hagenbeck said Milaa Milaa “can do everything a little koala is supposed to do. She eats eucalyptus, but is also breastfed. She’s very skilled at climbing.”
A second video shows the energetic baby koala hopping from branch to branch and eating some leaves.
Zookeepers said Millaa Milla is a very active koala and enjoys jumping between branches, which is not normal for koalas.
The one-year-old and her mum have been spending a lot of time together in the past three months so Bunji can teach her daughter and help her develop her climbing skills.
Zoo staff said Millaa Milla is developing nicely and eats 25 different types of eucalyptus as the zoo makes sure to have a fresh supply for her delivered from the UK every week.
District manager Simona Gabrisova said: “In contrast to her mother Bunji, Millaa Millaa has no preferences yet. She is very voracious and tries all kinds of [eucalyptus] species.”
When born, koala cubs are usually naked, blind and deaf, but they crawl independently out of the birth canal into the pouch, where they usually spend around seven months.
“In terms of height, Millaa Millaa is three-quarters of her mother’s size, but she likes to be carried on her back. That’s quite exhausting for Bunji,” Gabrisova said.
The young koala was named after a heritage-listed waterfall — Millaa Millaa Falls in the Australian state of Queensland — where this koala subspecies is native.
Austrian tennis star Dominic Thiem, currently ranked as the world No. 4 player by the Association of Tennis Professionals recently became Millaa Millaa’s official sponsor.
(Edited by Judith Isacoff and Fern Siegel)