Internet falls in love with rare white koala joey with no name

Mark Molloy
The Telegraph

Meet the adorable white koala joey who has become an overnight social media sensation.

The rare koala, born at Australia Zoo, doesn't yet have a name, with the zoo asking animal lovers to send in their suggestions.  

She is the first white koala joey to be born at the zoo in Queensland’s Sunshine Coast and one of 12 new koala arrivals this season.

<span>A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E: A rare white koala joey has been born at Australia Zoo</span> <span>Credit: &nbsp;EPA /&nbsp;Australia Zoo </span>
A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E: A rare white koala joey has been born at Australia Zoo Credit:  EPA / Australia Zoo

The pale animal, born in January, owes its white fur to a recessive gene inherited from her mother Tia.

"In veterinary science it's often referred to as the 'silvering gene' where animals are born with white or very pale fur and, just like baby teeth, they eventually shed their baby fur and the regular adult colouration comes through," said the zoo's wildlife hospital director Rosie Booth

<span>The koala joey on her mother Tia&nbsp;</span> <span>Credit: Australia Zoo / AFP </span>
The koala joey on her mother Tia  Credit: Australia Zoo / AFP

“In the wild animal kingdom, it’s actually quite unfortunate to have unusually light colouration as it makes animals stand out from their camouflage.”

<span>Cute alert!&nbsp;</span> <span>Credit: EPA / Australia Zoo </span>
Cute alert!  Credit: EPA / Australia Zoo

Tourism Australia, who are backing the campaign, posted: “Welcome to the world little one! We love you 'cause you're different!”

One suggested the koala should be named after Game of Thrones character Daenerys as she “resembles the Dragon Queen with white hair”.

You can make your own suggestions on Australia Zoo’s Facebook page.

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