If their adoring fans at yesterday’s debut appearance were any indication, Budaru and Mundooie will be a popular attraction at the Calgary Zoo.

The two male koala bears are on loan from the San Diego Zoo until September and will greet visitors in the Australian building.

“Budaru and Mundooie are so cute and cuddly and they each have their own personality. They are wonderful ambassadors,” Calgary zookeeper Barb Campbell said.

Campbell described four-year-old Budaru as a solitary type, who can be somewhat feisty and unpredictable. She says eight-year-old Mundooie is a little more approachable and is easier to hold.

“Koala bears can be quite nasty. In Australia you wouldn’t walk up to go and pick it up,” she added.

The koala bears are a welcome addition for a zoo that has faced much controversy as of late, with the deaths of most of its stingrays most recently, but San Diego keeper Jennifer Moll said Calgary is a the perfect temporary home.

“I know they are in perfect hands and we have absolutely no concern bringing our koalas to the Calgary Zoo,” Moll said, adding Campbell participated in two weeks of training in San Diego.

“We have over 20 koalas in our zoo at home and we’re happy to share ... Calgary is now the only zoo in Canada with koalas,” Moll added.

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