GET­TING T O GRIPS WITH NEW HOME

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - CHRISTIE AN­DER­SON

BILLABONG Sanc­tu­ary has a furry new res­i­dent with Maluka the koala now call­ing the wildlife park home.

Maluka has come from the Gold Coast’s farm- style at­trac­tion Par­adise Coun­try and will soon be used for photo op­por­tu­ni­ties. Billabong Sanc­tu­ary mam­mals ranger El­yse Thomas said at 18 months old Maluka wasn’t fully ma­ture.

“He is still con­sid­ered a joey and he has a baby face still, so he is pretty cute,” she said. “He is set­tling in well and smash­ing his food.

“He was a photo koala down at Par­adise Coun­try but their photo stu­dio was in­doors so now we’re just get­ting him used to the en­vi­ron­ment and bond­ing with him.”

Billabong Sanc­tu­ary now has 10 koalas in its care and four of those are used for photo op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Maluka is al­ready on dis­play to the pub­lic and will be avail­able for pho­tos in about four to six weeks.

Pic­ture: SCOTT RADFORD- CHISHOLM

CUD­DLY AR­RIVAL: Billabong Sanc­tu­ary mam­mals ranger El­yse Thomas with Maluka the koala, who has moved up from the Gold Coast.

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