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Rare Koala Bares His Coat

An unusual newborn made his debut Wednesday at the San Diego Zoo.

A rare albino koala, the first born in captivity, was shown to the media for the first time Wednesday and will be on display for park visitors for the first time on Friday.

News About Animals
The 10-month-old joey, born with a snowy coat instead of the usual gray fur, was seen with its mother, Banjeeri. Although it is too old to stay in the pouch - koalas outgrow their mother's pouches by seven months - it was still young enough to travel on the back of his mother.

Koalas are marsupials (not bears), usually found in eastern Australia. Nocturnal animals, koalas sleep in the daytime in the forks of trees and spend their nights climbing and feeding on gum trees. A full-grown koala can eat 2.5 pounds of eucalyptus leaves a day.

Koalas have short, almost invisible tails, long arms and legs, and digits that work almost like human fingers when the animals are scaling trees. Females breed in summer and typically produce only one joey a year.

Not much is known about the koala's life span; some have been observed in captivity up to the age of 15.

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