TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Following the euthanization of a nursing koala named Grace at the Taipei Zoo, zookeepers are now hand-raising her joey named — Joey.
The Taipei Zoo said a veterinarian noticed something wrong with Grace’s lymph node on Nov. 18 during a routine health check-up. On Nov. 19, zookeepers found her resting on the ground, too weak to climb back up the tree.
A blood test revealed that a retrovirus disease had caused acute leukemia. The medical team discussed the case with experts at Australia’s Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and ultimately decided to put Grace down so she would not live in pain.
Joey, a 201-day-old female joey Grace was nursing in her pouch, had been removed before the decision to euthanize Grace in an attempt to relieve some stress. The zoo now has to hand-raise the joey, which it has never done before.
Zookeepers are currently feeding Joey every three hours and keep her in a customized cotton pouch. Zookeepers also place her on stuffed animals to practice grabbing things and hold eucalyptus leaves out for her to practice leaf-picking.
According to the Taipei Zoo, Joey is currently doing well and gaining weight.
Grace was extremely weak due to acute leukemia. (Taipei Zoo photo)