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Baby Koala Hugs Unconscious Mom During Life-Saving Surgery

This joey named Phantom stayed by his mother’s side during life-saving surgery. Mother koala Lizzy was hit by a car on Warrego Highway in Australia, suffering facial trauma and a collapsed lung. The two koalas are now recovering at Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital, which was founded by Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin and his wife Terri.

Koalas are native to Australia and primarily eat eucalyptus leaves. They are asocial animals, with bonding occurring only between mothers and their dependent offspring.

Baby koalas, or joeys, stay in their mother’s pouches for the first six to seven months of their lives, and are only weaned at around one year.