Chicago/ Parks & Nature
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Published on February 27, 2024
Brookfield Zoo Welcomes First-Ever Koalas and Adorable Grey Seal Pup in Flurry of New ExhibitsSource: Facebook/Brookfield Zoo

Brookfield Zoo is upping the ante on adorability with their latest additions: snuggly koala bears and a floppy grey seal pup that's sure to draw in crowds. Visitors can look forward to meeting Brumby and Willum, the zoo's first-ever koalas, who will move into their new home this summer. They're set to inhabit the Hamill Family Play Zoo, as shared in a Facebook post by the zoo, and will be viewable in spaces designed for guests to watch the marsupials' every move.

In news that makes the heart go aww, earlier this month the Zoo announced the birth of a 35-pound male grey seal pup, adding to their growing list of cute critters. The fluffy newcomer arrived February 17, caring to a mother named Georgette—or "Georgie" for short. The duo will be hanging out behind the scenes for about a month and a half, but animal lovers can keep track of the pup's progress via social media updates shared by the zoo.

These charming animals join a slew of recent additions at the Zoo, which include an 11-year-old blind seal and her newborn, and a pair of bears from Alaska. Not to be overlooked, the zoo also celebrated the arrival of flamingo chicks for the first time since 1997. Kicking off spring, Brookfield Zoo will also feature a 130-foot Anniversary Ferris wheel to celebrate its 90th birthday, according to NBC Chicago.

Despite being fully blind in her left eye and partially in the right, Georgie has shown she's a very attentive mother. "Even with her loss of vision, Georgie is being a very attentive mother to her pup," associate director of marine mammal care and conservation, Mark Gonka, told FOX 32 Chicago. With a keen sense of smell and recognizable vocalizations, the pair have no trouble staying connected. Georgie's maternal instinct has never been clearer, as evidenced by the pup already gaining approximately 15 pounds since birth.

Over the next few weeks, this seal pup is expected to beef up significantly, potentially adding about 100 pounds largely thanks to his mother's high-fat milk diet. But all good things must come to an end: once weaned off the milk, this chubby youngster will transition to a fish diet. For further information about the seal pup or your next visit to the zoo, Brookfield encourages the public to follow their link and stay updated.