The clucky koalas at Caversham Wildlife Park like to keep their childcare in-house.
In these images captured by Perth animal photographer Alex Cearns, multi-tasking Imogen fusses over her own eight-and-a-half-month-old joey, Steve, and her best friend Marie’s son, Spencer. Marie, who has already done her duty, is is taking a much-needed nap nearby.
“It was really beautiful to see – one baby on the front, the other on the back,” Ms Cearns said.
Ms Cearns, of Houndstooth Studio, was hosting one of her regular animal photography workshops when staff at Caversham offered her and a few of her students the opportunity to get up-close with the gorgeous joeys. “They weren’t bothered by us, they were just curious,” she said. “We walked away with pictures that we will treasure forever.”
The park’s manager, Debbie Morley, says there are currently five joeys ranging in age from about three to nine months.
Staff at the family-run business closely monitor the koalas and had expected four of the five recent births. The fifth, she said, was a “beautiful surprise.”
Ms Morley said the most exciting new arrival was the birth of koala Karen’s joey. “We had to hand-raise Karen because her mum died while she was still in her pouch. We’re all absolutely rapt that she’s now a mum herself. It’s beautiful.” The park will soon hold a competition to name Karen’s joey.