Video of koala joey from Symbio Wildlife Park seeking cuddles, belly rubs from zookeeper goes viral

By @vitthernandez on
Harry Koala Joey
Harry’s mother died from leukaemia when the joey was just four months old. Facebook/Symbio Wildlife Park

Joeys, or baby koalas, have so much cuteness in them that they really melt a lot of hearts, especially if one, like six-month-old Phantom, was in a tragedy. Lizzy, the mother koala, was hit by a car in June 2015, but Phantom was found clinging to his mother which suffered from collapsed lung and required surgery.

On Saturday, another joey, Harry, captured many hearts when Tourism Australia posted a video of the baby koala and his zookeeper, Tami Wilson from Symbio Wildlife Park in Helensburgh, New South Wales. Over the weekend, the video became viral since it has been viewed by 10 million people, reports Batemansbaypost.

Kevin Fallon, the producer and videographer of the footage, says the video was viewed 260,000 times on the park’s Facebook page, although as of Tuesday morning, the number is close to 400,000. At the Ozzie Man Reviews Page, its parody has been viewed 750,000 times.

Harry is seen running to his zookeeper, Wilson, for cuddles. Then he is seen rolling on his back for belly rubs and tickles. The two BFFs eventually lay back on the ground and enjoy a good dose of vitamin D. The very close bond between the two is evident when Harry goes down from the tree and greets Wilson whenever he sees the zookeeper who says hers is the best job in the world.

Harry & Zookeeper Tami Wilson The very close bond between the two is evident when Harry goes down from the tree and greets Wilson whenever he sees the zookeeper.  Facebook/Symbio Wildlife Park

Reaction of readers on Symbio’s Facebook page agreed with Wilson. Maria Frost writes, “hmmm maybe ill just be a zoo keeper, id be literally the happiest person picking up animal shit just for moments like this.” Similarly, Georgia Kate says she “Might have to change careers and become a zoo keeper.”

Pauline Seidi adds that she would love to have Wilson’s job even if only for one day. Bonnie Ebenkamp says “Teachers should get to be first in line for summer jobs!”

But Sandy Easton has a different point of view. She writes, “This koala is only tame because he is in captivity and has been manhandled probably since he was born. Don’t ever approach a wild koala as you will freak it out and cause it a lot of stress. If its on the ground it probably needs help so call ‘wires’ immediately.”

Fallon, who observes that similar videos take four or five days to become viral and be featured by international media, says that national news bulletins on 9 and 7 networks also featured Harry on Saturday night. Harry is not the only media darling at Symbio.

There is another koala named Imogen as well as Red Pandas, Cotton Top Tamarins, Pygmy Marmosets and Wombats whose videos have also became viral. Fallon reveals that Harry’s mother died from leukaemia when the joey was just four months old. Because Harry had not yet received pap secretion from his mother to allow him to digest eucalyptus leaves, they had Imogen cross surrogate Harry in her pouch until he became independent and bonded with a human “mother.”

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