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Ocean Park Celebrates Arrival of a Male Koala from Japan and Being First Asian Facility to Receive Certification for Animal Welfare from American Humane


Ocean Park is excited to welcome a new member to its family of animal ambassadors – a young captive bred male koala from Osaka Tennoji Zoo, Japan, which arrived Hong Kong from Japan on 1 July 2016. After a post-arrival quarantine period, the koala, named “Sora”, was relocated from the quarantine facility to Adventures in Australia yesterday to join the two existing Southern koalas, who arrived from Adelaide in October 2014, and becomes one of the Park’s important conservation ambassadors for visitors around the world. The Park today also announced that it was awarded the certification under American Humane Association’s global Humane Conservation™ programme for animal welfare, making Ocean Park the first-ever recipient of this prestigious certificate from Asia.
Ms. Suzanne Gendron, Executive Director of Zoological Operations and Education, said, “We are grateful to Osaka Tennoji Zoo for entrusting us with Sora, a descendant of koalas that originated from the state of Victoria, Australia. Sora is full of curiosity and he likes to explore the new environment. He also enjoys being combed by our animal keepers and will easily doze off while our keepers do so, reflecting his trust towards his care-takers. If you come visit Adventures in Australia and see a koala with a round face and a big nose, it is probably Sora. Sora and Yani, the female koala at Ocean Park, are both around 4 years old and approaching sexual maturity this year, and thus we will be monitoring their behaviour during the upcoming breeding season next April. As the population of koalas in Adelaide, South Australia, is pre-disposed to oxalate nephrosis, an incurable disease that occurs in the South Australian population, Sora’s arrival will help maintain a population of koalas at Ocean Park that is genetically diverse and healthy, while helping to promote lifestyle of health and sustainability and public interest in conservation action.”
The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department was informed of Sora’s latest arrangement, while the Cleland Wildlife Park, where Ocean Park’s existing koalas previously resided, was agreeable with the import and introduction.
Commenting on Ocean Park’s recent achievement of earning the prestigious Humane Conservation seal of approval by American Humane, the first national humane organisation in the United States and the world’s largest certifier of animal welfare, Ms. Gendron said, “ We are very appreciative of this recognition, especially since we are the first facility in Asia to receive this world’s first-ever certification devoted solely to verifying the humane treatment of animals residing in zoos, aquariums and conservation centres across the globe. It is a great testament to our longstanding devotion to world-class animal care, and we will continue to uphold the values for which we were evaluated, which exhaustively consider the many dimensions of animal welfare and well-being such as excellent health and living condition, and positive social interactions within groups of animals, as well as between animals and the animal care team.”