Rare and Adorable
The Zoo’s koala keepers hadn’t expected to ever see one albino koala—Goolara, born in 1986—let alone two! But sure enough, on September 1, 1997, another all-white koala was born at the Zoo. When Onya-Birri, meaning “ghost boy” (far left) made his first appearance in March 1998, this 81st koala born to the San Diego Zoo’s colony took everyone by surprise.
Two other rare births took place in 1997 as well: western red panda cubs (above)—the first red pandas born at the Zoo in 43 years!—and a European otter pup (left), which was not only the first birth of this species at the Zoo but also the first in the United States.