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Riverbanks Zoo welcomes its newest member

A koala joey who has spent the bulk of the last seven months tucked safely inside his mother's pouch recently showed his face to the public for the first time at the Riverbanks Zoo and garden in Columbia, South Carolina, reports WISTV 10.

The baby koala was born to parents Jimmie and Lottie in May. He has been given the name Owen, and though the little guy may resemble a teddy bear, koalas are actually marsupials.

"Keepers observed movements inside Lottie's pouch in September, but it wasn't until November that they got a first look at Owen," Jon Davis, curator of mammals at the zoo, told the news source.

Though Owen was about the size of a jellybean he was born, he has grown quite large over the last few months and is now too big to stay in his mother's pouch. During most hours of the day, the joey can be found clinging to Lottie's back or stomach.

According to National Geographic, baby koalas typically cling to their mother until they are about 1-year-old. The animals are native to eastern Australia and spend 18 hours a day asleep.
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