Koala exhibit to open at Indianapolis Zoo on May 23

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 18, 2015)-- One of Australia's most iconic animals will be at the Indianapolis Zoo for a limited time this summer. Back for the first time since 2008, zoo visitors will be able to see koalas from May 23 through September 7.

Two 4-year-old male Queensland koalas named Milo and Thackory will be in the Forests area, in a climate-controlled habitat that offers up-close views.

Koalas are sometimes mistaken for small bears, but are more closely related to kangaroos and opossums, according to zoo officials. They are nocturnal and doze for 18 to 22 hours each day.

Eucalyptus will be flown in twice a week from Arizona for Milo and Thackory to eat. The zoo says this moisture-rich plant provides all the water and nutrition koalas need, although they do have big appetites and eat about 1.5 pounds of leaves per day.

Queensland koalas are named for the coastal region of Northeastern Australia where they live in the wild, but as more of their forest habitat is converted for urban development, koalas are increasingly challenged to find food and shelter.

The Indianapolis Zoo has other species that are native to Australia, including birds, reptiles and reef fish.

All exhibits are available at no additional cost for members. Guests are encouraged to save time and money on their visit by purchasing advance tickets online.

Photos below courtesy of the Indianapolis Zoo.

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