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Australian koala and wombat become best mates during coronavirus lockdowns at park

B(east) Friends Forever: Wombat called Hope and Elsa the koala become inseparable after sharing an enclosure during lockdown

  • A koala and a wombat have become best friends during COVID-19 lockdown at an Australian wildlife park
  • Elsa the koala and Hope the wombat were hand raised by staff at the park after being found as joeys 
  • More than $100 million was raised by people around the world for conservation after Australian bushfires 
  • The Australian Reptile Park, an hour north of Sydney, reopened Monday after coronavirus lockdown 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

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A koala and a wombat have struck up a cute friendship during COVID-19 lockdowns. 

Elsa the koala and Hope the wombat have become best mates after spending much of the isolation period sharing an enclosure.  

The two furry marsupials were hand raised by keepers at the Australian Reptile Park about an hour north of Sydney. 

Wombats are the closest relative species to the koala so keepers knew the two would be a match made in friendship heaven. 

Elsa the koala and Hope the wombat have become best mates after spending much of the isolation period sharing an enclosure 

Wombats are the closest species to the koala so staff knew that the two would become best buddies

Wombats are the closest species to the koala so staff knew that the two would become best buddies 

The Australian Reptile Park has been closed through April and May as the New South Wales government imposed lockdown restrictions measures on many businesses. 

The park reopened on Monday and is again welcoming visitors as Australia’s coronavirus infection rate remains stable at less than 35 new cases a day for more than a month. 

While the two native animals may have been missing visitors during lockdown they used the opportunity to bond with each other, leading staff at the park now refer to them as ‘lockdown BFFs.’ 

In fact, the two have grown to so close that keepers are now allowing them to see each other ever day. 

Staff first noticed their friendship when Hope the wombat was housed in Elsa’s enclosure when her’s was being cleaned and the two would greet each other by nuzzling their noses. 

Park curator Hayley Shute, who hand raised Elsa from when she was just a joey, said she knew the two would enjoy getting to know each other. 

The park reopened on Monday and is again welcoming visitors as Australia's coronavirus infection rate remains stable at less than 35 new cases a day for more than a month

The park reopened on Monday and is again welcoming visitors as Australia’s coronavirus infection rate remains stable at less than 35 new cases a day for more than a month 

Australian Reptile Park keeper Liz Gabriel said visitors were able to come and say hello to Elsa and Hope after the park reopened on Monday

Australian Reptile Park keeper Liz Gabriel said visitors were able to come and say hello to Elsa and Hope after the park reopened on Monday 

While the two native animals may have been missing visitors during lockdowns they used the opportunity to bond with each other, leading staff at the park now refer to them as 'lockdown BFFs'

While the two native animals may have been missing visitors during lockdowns they used the opportunity to bond with each other, leading staff at the park now refer to them as ‘lockdown BFFs’

‘Hope is a little ray of sunshine. It’s a very special friendship these two have formed and I can’t wait to see it continue to blossom,’ Ms Shute said. 

‘Elsa and Hope are great ambassadors for Australian wildlife and our wildlife needs all the help it can get. 

‘Australia has the worst mammal extinction rate on the planet. Our iconic koala is sadly experiencing a large decline in numbers due, in part, to the tragic bush fires we had earlier this year and they’re on the trajectory to be extinct in the wild by 2050’. 

A fundraising effort after the bushfires raised more than $100 million from concerned people around the world for conservation efforts. 

Guests to the Australian Reptile Park are able to see both Elsa and Hope and learn about their incredible species. 

Staff first noticed their friendship when Hope the wombat would be housed in Elsa's enclosure when her's was being cleaned and the two would greet each other by nuzzling their noses

 Staff first noticed their friendship when Hope the wombat would be housed in Elsa’s enclosure when her’s was being cleaned and the two would greet each other by nuzzling their noses 

Elsa and her fellow koalas are a threatened species and conservation efforts are needed to ensure they remain in Australian forests

Elsa and her fellow koalas are a threatened species and conservation efforts are needed to ensure they remain in Australian forests 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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