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Viral superstars Elsa the Koala and Hope the Wombat meet in heartwarming video
The pair became close during isolation and dubbed ‘Iso-buddies’
Both animals were hand raised by keepers at The Australian Reptile Park
Elsa the Koala has melted hearts all over the world yet again in another cute video released by The Australian Reptile Park, however this time she’s sharing the spotlight with her new “Iso-buddy” Hope the wombat! Although the Australian Reptile Park is NOW OPEN, whilst closed throughout April and May, the pair became close buddies with keepers often putting Hope the Wombat in the enclosure with Elsa. It didn't take long for them to become the best of friends!
The video posted last night on the Australian Reptile Park’s Facebook page has gone viral reaching over hundreds of thousands of people overnight! Wombats are the closest relative species to the koala, and keepers knew they were a match made in cute friendship heaven. Keepers referring them affectionately as ‘lockdown BFFS’ as they bonded during the closure of the Park. Elsa and Hope need each other as throughout their friendship they have given one another company and support while growing and developing into healthy and happy individuals. It's now part of their days to spend time together!
Hope the wombat was often was housed in the koala enclosure under the supervision of keepers when they were in the yards cleaning and changing over fresh leaves. Elsa and Hope were seen interacting frequently keepers would watch on in awe as the pair bonded and greeted each other with a daily Eskimo nose kiss!
Both hand-raised, Elsa and Hope both had difficult starts to life and required keeper care to ensure they were going to survive. Thankfully, they have both blossomed into healthy and happy animals and are growing incredibly fast.
Australian Reptile Park Curator, Hayley Shute (who also personally hand raised Elsa) said “Elsa is just a bit over one year old now and it’s been an amazing experiencing watching the world love her as much as I do.”
Hayley continued, “Hope is a little ray of sunshine and we just knew the two of them would enjoy getting to know each other! It makes for one cute video that’s for sure! It’s a very special friendship these two have formed and I can’t wait to see it continue to blossom,”
“Elsa and Hope are great ambassadors for Australian wildlife and our wildlife needs all the help it can get. Australia has the worst mammal extinction rate on the planet. Our iconic koala is sadly experiencing a large decline in numbers due, in part, to the tragic bush fires we had earlier this year and they’re on the trajectory to be extinct in the wild by 2050” Hayley concluded.
Much to the delight of guests, people visiting the Australian Reptile Park can see both Elsa the koala and Hope the wombat during their visit and learn about their incredible species.
The Australian Reptile Park is now open after two months of closure due to the global pandemic and is located the natural bush setting of the Central Coast of NSW, only 60 minutes from Sydney or Newcastle. Enjoy a visit with safety precautions in place ensuring the best standards possible are in place so that visitors can learn about Australian Wildlife in a beautiful and safe outdoor environment. The Park is open daily from 9am-5pm, with complimentary parking and BBQ facilities. More information at www.reptilepark.com.au
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