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Stolen Koala Found in Parking Lot After Two Days (VIDEO)

Stolen Koala Found in Parking Lot After Two Days (VIDEO)

A 13-year-old koala, Banjo, was stolen from an enclosure in the Australian Reptile Park near Sydney, Australia, on Monday night. Zoo officials said Banjo’s abduction was the “first ever koala heist” in Australia, as the New York Daily News puts it. On Wednesday afternoon, someone called the park and said that Banjo was in the parking lot. Zoo personnel rushed out and found Banjo in a plastic waste container with a milk crate over him.

Click here for a video of Banjo being reunited with his keepers.

The Daily Telegraph reports that Banjo, while shaken and slightly dehydrated, is doing all right.

Officials were especially concerned about Banjo as he had only recently come to the Reptile Park from a zoo on the Gold Coast, to increase the genetic diversity of the park’s breeding program. Koalas “stress easily” and can “take a long time to adjust to new surroundings,” says the Daily Telegraph. As Banjo — who is quite old in koala years; koalas live about ten years in the wild, about 15 in captivity — had lost weight during the move and was being fed a supplementary paste besides his usual diet of eucalyptus leaves.

General manager Mary Rayner said that Banjo was being kept in his own enclosure “because we were concerned about him and we wanted him to get used to his new home before we introduced him to any females.” She and other zoo officials are unsure as to why anyone would have wanted to steal Banjo. 

Here’s hoping he has a speedy recovery and settles nicely into his life at the park.

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Photo from drbakker via flickr

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1:01PM PDT on Aug 7, 2012

I don't think the eucalyptus tree I have in my yard would prove palatable to the little fellow so he best stay in the zoo...although he is the cutest little animal.

7:14PM PDT on Aug 6, 2012

Crazy people, so glad he is back home!!

4:12AM PDT on May 4, 2012

a happy ending

6:07PM PDT on Apr 30, 2012

I probably couldn't help myself either to have one,but I couldn't hide him in waste container.If only New Jersey was warm enough,well at lease is doing better. (O_O)

5:57PM PDT on Apr 30, 2012

Poor baby! Hope he feels better soon! Thanks for posting!

6:22AM PDT on Apr 28, 2012

Glad he is back safely at home.So cute!!!!!!!!!!!.

7:05PM PDT on Apr 27, 2012

Thanks to all who helped to save the little koala. Great story, thanks for sharing.

10:03PM PDT on Oct 27, 2011

Sometimes i wonder, "what are people thinking."

Thank god a happy ending to a very STUPID idea.

Glad your'e back home Bandit. Now go win over the ladies. With a face like yours, shouldn't be too hard to do.

12:10PM PDT on Oct 27, 2011

He's sooooo cute, I *almost* don't blame some thoughtless twit from thinking they'd nab him as a pet! Hate to hear he was upset, just want to go give him a reassuring cuddle. Hope they didn't tease and poke this cutie. Hope his Park handlers fatten him up and help him forget his scare.

7:40AM PDT on Jun 11, 2011

I hope that the koala is fine and also the kidnapper in sane state of mind.

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