A video highlighting a very special friendship at the Australian Reptile Park has gone viral on Faceboook.
Elsa the koala and Hope the wombat have become “iso buddies”, with keepers often putting the two in the same enclosure during the Park’s closure due to COVID-19 restrictions.
A video featuring the pair, affectionately known as “lockdown BFFS” by staff, was posted on the Park’s Facebook page on June 2 and attracted hundreds of thousands of views overnight.
Staff said the youngsters gave each other company during isolation and it is now part of their daily routine to spend time together.
Hope the wombat was often housed in the koala enclosure under the supervision of keepers when they were in the yards cleaning and changing over fresh leaves.
Keepers watched on as the two, both hand-raised at the Park, were seen interacting frequently, bonding and greeting each other with a daily Eskimo nose kiss.
Curator, Hayley Shute, who personally hand raised Elsa, said seeing the one-year-old grow had been an “amazing experience”.
“It’s a very special friendship these two have formed and I can’t wait to see it continue to blossom,” Shute said.
“Elsa and Hope are great ambassadors for Australian wildlife and our wildlife needs all the help it can get.
“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.”
Media release, Jun 3
Australian Reptile Park