A koala and wombat have become best friends after sharing an enclosure during the coronavirus lockdown.
Elsa the koala and Hope the wombat both live at the Australian Reptile Park and they first met whilst Hope’s enclosure was being cleaned.
Lockdown BFFs: Elsa the koala and Hope the wombat have become besties after sharing an enclosure at the Australian Reptile Park.
Knowing that the pair would be ok together (wombats are a close relative to koalas) the park handlers began putting Hope in Elsa’s enclosure whilst cleaning, a decision which would ultimately spark a beautiful friendship.
The staff first noticed the pair were getting on when they began greeting each other by nuzzling their noses. Apparently, they now hang out daily and never fail to greet with a kiss, with the staff dubbing them “lockdown BFFs”. The park had been closed during the pandemic and only opened again on June 1.
Park curator Hayley Shute has raised Elsa since she was a baby, and Hope had also been raised at the park.
“Hope is a little ray of sunshine,” Shute described to the Daily Telegraph. “It’s a very special friendship these two have formed and I can’t wait to see it continue to blossom. 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,” she continued. “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.”
Following the horrific Australian bushfires earlier this year, more than $100 million has been raised for conservation efforts.
Check out an adorable video from Australian Reptile Park of Elsa and Hope below.
In other news, the park recently welcomed their first new baby koala since the bushfires.