Zoo Miami mourns loss of 2-year-old koala

Zoo Miami’s 2-year-old koala, “Hope,” died late Sunday night after experiencing recurring issues with his gastro-intestinal system. (Zoo Miami)

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Zoo Miami has announced that its 2-year-old koala named Hope was found dead Sunday night by staff members.

According to zoo staff, regular checks were being made on Hope after he had been lethargic over the last several days and had a lack of appetite.

“Over the last year, Hope had demonstrated some recurring issues with his gastro-intestinal system that the Animal Health department was monitoring and treating,” a news release from Zoo Miami stated. “These issues are not uncommon in koalas and Hope did show some positive improvement with the treatments he was given. However, over the past week, his health seemed to rapidly decline.”

According to the news release, Hope was immobilized so that veterinarians could do a thorough examination on him, including by doing X-rays, collecting blood and taking various cultures.

“Sadly, Hope died before we were able to receive and evaluate the results of those tests,” the news release stated. “A thorough necropsy will be performed today to hopefully explain this devastating loss.”

Hope was born on May 30, 2019, and was only the third koala born in the zoo’s history and the first to be born at the zoo in over 28 years.

He was named Hope due to the catastrophic fires that occurred in Australia shortly after his birth.

Staff members said many people felt his birth was a symbol of “hope” that things would get better for the country that is the native home of koalas.

Zoo Miami also donated thousands of dollars in Hope’s name to support the wildlife rescue efforts during that time.

Hope is survived by his 5-year-old mother, “Rinny,” and 10-year-old father, “Milo,” who both live at Zoo Miami.

About the Author:

Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for Local10.com.