You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Dreamworld to host koala breeding program

AAP logoAAP 21/12/2016 Ed Jackson

Embattled Gold Coast theme park Dreamworld has received an early Christmas present with the arrival of koala pair Alethea and Tartar.

The two marsupials are the first residents of a new $1.8 million breeding program aimed at improving the health of koala populations in Queensland's southeast.

The two females are rehabilitated koalas from the Moggill Koala Hospital and will help Dreamworld and the University of Queensland develop a living genome bank.

The koalas will reside at the Dreamworld Wildlife Foundation's Futurelab, a research facility dedicated to the preservation of Australian wildlife.

Queensland Environment Minister Steven Miles said the two koalas have been successfully treated at the Moggill facility but cannot be released back into the wild.

Alethea was permanently injured and orphaned as a result of a vehicle strike and Tartar is blind, Dr Miles said.

"These rehabilitated koalas can now look forward to a productive future as we work to revitalise the region's dwindling koala population," Dr Miles said.

Dreamworld life sciences manager Al Mucci says the agreement is the first captive breeding program for koalas in Queensland.

Mr Mucci said participating koalas and their offspring would be kept in a special enclosure away from the public display areas.

"We want to be able to release koalas which are bred through this program to the wild and that needs careful and expert management so that the animals do not become used to people," he said.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon