Sneak Peek: The Koalas of the Indianapolis Zoo

“Koala bear sits in the old gum tree… merry merry king of the bush is HE!” My 4-year-old’s voice sang out from the backseat as we drove to the Indianapolis Zoo. And while she knows the lyrics of the song are actually about a kookaburra bird {thanks to my elementary music teacher mom!}, she had changed the lyrics on purpose:

The Indianapolis Zoo is opening a new koala exhibit, and we were about to get a sneak peek.

The exhibit opens May 23rd featuring Milo and Thackory, two adorable koalas on loan for the summer from the San Diego Zoo. In fact Milo is the son of Coombah, a koala from the original 2008 Indianapolis Zoo exhibit!
Senior San Diego zookeeper Katie Tomlinson was on-hand during the sneak peek – with tales about how she accompanied the koalas on their plane ride to Indy! – to answer questions and lend some fun facts about koalas like:
  • * Despite what many people think, koalas are not bears.
  • * They are marsupial animals – moms will carry babies for up to 6 months in their pouch.
  • * Koalas eat a diet of only eucalyptus leaves.
  • * They are nocturnal but sleep around 20 total hours a day.
During our visit, Thackory snoozed {see him tucked in the tree in the photo below?} and Milo snacked on leaves before putting on a show of climbing from tree to tree. I loved the educational signage sprinkled all around the exhibit with interesting tidbits, info on how urban development impacts these beautiful creatures and more. Seeing them was a highlight for my 4-year-old and I, and will definitely be on our list of must-do-again for this summer!

MORE INFORMATION: The koalas will be on exhibit 5/23-9/7 and are located in the Forests section of the Indianapolis Zoo {located at 1200 W Washington St in downtown Indy}. Exhibit is included with Zoo admission. Visit or call (317) 630-2001 for details on hours, tickets and more.


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