An orphaned baby koala so small she fits in the palm of a human hand has been saved after breaking her arm falling from a tree in Victoria.
The joey is about 150-days-old, weighs less than 500 grams and was found injured after she fell from a tree in a blue-gum plantation logging area.
Her mother had to be euthanased due to her injuries.
"She was just at the stage where she would have been starting to poke her head out of mum's pouch," Werribee Zoo vet nurse Jess Rice said of the youngster on Friday.
"Joeys that size don't have a good survival rate in care. It was really touch and go when she was brought to us."
A wildlife carer brought the joey into Werribee Open Range Zoo in Melbourne's west in mid-June.
After undergoing an x-ray the little joey had her arm set in a cast not much thicker than a finger.
Like all babies, the joey needed around-the-clock care, including feeding every four hours.
She was introduced to a stuffed toy as a temporary surrogate to help teach the joey how to hang off fur, like she would have done with her mother.
Despite a tragic start to life, the little joey is putting on weight and will one day be released into the wild, to boost numbers of the vulnerable species.
"It will be more than a year before she's old enough to be released into the wild, so she needs to be with a carer with the resources to take care of her for that long," Ms Rice said.
Australian Associated Press
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