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Rare white baby koala introduced at Australia Zoo

By Daniel Uria
Rare white baby koala introduced at Australia Zoo
The Australia Zoo welcomed a baby koala with a rare recessive trait causing it to have white fur with its normally colored eyes and nose. Screenshot: Australia.com/Facebook

Aug. 22 (UPI) -- The Australia Zoo welcomed a new baby koala with rare white fur and are now asking the public for help choosing a name.

The rare white koala was one of 12 joeys born to mom Tia and dad Slater in January and the zoo said she is not albino, which makes her unusual color even more rare.

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Australia Zoo said the koala's eyes and nose are the usual brown/black color rather than being pink or white, because her white color is due to a recessive trait passed on by her mother.

"In veterinary science it's often referred to as the 'silvering gene,' where animals are born with white or very pale fur and, just like baby teeth, they eventually shed their baby fur and the regular adult colouration comes through," Dr. Rosie Booth told ABC News.

The newborn joey is now on display with her mother and siblings, while the zoo has tasked the public with giving her a name.

Thousands of people have suggested names for the rare koala -- including snowflake for her white color, Daenerys after the Game of Thrones character and Alkina, the Aboriginal name for the moon.

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