Edinburgh Zoo koala Goonaroo loses an eye after suffering an injury

The UK's oldest koala has lost an eye after sustaining an injury at Edinburgh Zoo.

Tuesday, 14th December 2021, 1:04 pm

Goonaroo, one of five Queensland koalas at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) attraction in the Capital, sustained the injury last month.

The male koala, which fathered the UK's first ever joey in 2013, underwent surgery and has since made an "excellent recovery".

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Goonaroo celebrating a recent birthday

Adam Naylor, RZSS' veterinary surgeon, said: "Last month the keepers at Edinburgh Zoo discovered Goonaroo, one of our Queensland koalas, had managed to sustain an eye injury.

"After being assessed by our team and specialists from the University of Edinburgh’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, we were sadly unable to save Goonaroo’s eye. Together we decided the best option for his welfare was to remove the injured eye.

"We are very grateful to Dr Claudia Hartley, Specialist in Veterinary Ophthalmology, and the team at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies and are pleased to report that Goonaroo’s operation went well and he has made an excellent recovery.

"Visitors can spot him in Koala Territory at the zoo, snoozing and enjoying fresh eucalyptus.”

Koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) are native to eastern Australia and are currently classified as vulnerable by the IUCN Red List. The main threats facing koala populations are habitat loss, wildfires and climate change.

The RZSS said Goonaroo and the wildlife conservation charity's other Queensland koalas were "ambassadors for their species in the wild".

Goonaroo, whose name is Aboriginal for “wood duck”, was born in 2004 at Duisburg Zoo in Germany and came to Edinburgh Zoo in 2007, where he lives with koalas Yabbra, Alinga and his son Yooranah .

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