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Koala experience returns to Palm Beach Zoo

Posted at 11:40 AM, Mar 21, 2023

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — There are only a handful of zoos in the United States that have koala bears, and the Palm Beach Zoo is again among the select group.

After the zoo's two koalas, Oz and Katherine, passed in 2021, the zoo is happy to welcome Ellin, a female koala, and Sydney, a male. Both are Queensland koalas.

"Sydney, in particular, is super super important to me. He actually is the nephew of both Oz and Katherine. So their siblings were at Zoo Tampa and they happen to be Sydney's parents. So we have a little piece of Ozzy and Katherine with Sydney being here," said Tabbitha Beckens, the carnivore supervisor at the Palm Beach Zoo.

And now, the Koala Experience is back at the zoo, too.

"You get to come and get a little bit closer than you think. Not too close. But you get to come in and meet either Elin and or Sydney and get to talk to us about what a day in the life quality keeper is and what it takes to take care of them. They're super cute," said Beckens.

The experience has been modified to include lorikeets.

"We're also visit the koalas' Australian friends, so we go to the Lori Loft first. Lorikeets are super important because they are the pollinators for the eucalyptus that the koalas eat," Beckens said.

While in the loft, guests get to feed the eucalyptus pollinators.

The experience is $55 per person and up to four people may be in the group.