Koala Joey Brightens Lockdown Life for Zoo Director and Family

Australian Reptile Park director Tim Faulkner has been playing surrogate dad to a koala joey as he works from home during the pandemic.

Video published by the Australian Reptile Park on September 1 shows the koala joey, named Pixie by Faulkner’s kids, snoozing with the family, hanging onto a stuffed koala, munching on a leaf and relaxing.

The zoo said that the joey was taken into Faulkner’s care when its mother fell ill in July.

“Pixie is the sweetest koala joey I’ve ever had the pleasure of raising. She just wants to be involved in everything we do at home – she’s so inquisitive! She loves to sit with the kids when they’re doing their homework or passing the time with a puzzle. The boys absolutely adore her,” Faulkner said.

Pixie was born as part of the park’s breeding program. The number of wild koalas has been declining for years, and plummeted after the devastating 2019-20 bushfires, the park said.

“In a couple of years, little Pixie will join the breeding program and become a mother herself. She’s the future of her species, alongside the five other koala joeys born during our 2021 breeding season!” Faulkner said. Credit: Australian Reptile Park via Storyful

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