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Keepers at Edinburgh Zoo get first look at baby koala

Baby panda Yooranah sleeps in his mother lap Photo: STV

Zookeepers are getting their first proper look at a koala joey who they have finally been able to name after discovering that he is a male.

Yooranah - meaning 'Loving' in indigenous Australian - was born at Edinburgh Zoo in May 2013 and is believed to be the first koala born in the UK.

But keepers were only able to have a proper look at him recently as they waited until he had fully emerged from mother's pouch before handling him.

The youngster was only the size of a jelly bean and was hairless and blind when he was born, but now weighs 1lb 6oz (632g) and has excellent vision.

He still spends most of his day clinging to his mother Alinga in the treetops.

Yooranah, a koala joey, takes a ride on his mother's back Credit: Edinburgh Zoo/PA Wire

Keepers have started a routine of regular weigh-ins, during which Yooranah is placed on a scale with a plush toy koala from the zoo's gift shop to comfort him.

As he is still so small, the keepers use a digital scale similar to those used to weigh baking ingredients. He will move on to the adult's scale when he is much larger.

Yooranah being weighed at Edinburgh Zoo Credit: Edinburgh Zoo/PA Wire

Donald Gow, a senior keeper at Edinburgh Zoo, said it was "very exciting" to watch Yooranah grow:

This is the first time that a koala joey has been born in the UK so it is amazing to see him develop from being pink and hairless into a fully-formed, if tiny, koala.

At the moment he seems to be all ears! He is also starting to develop his own personality - he can be quite feisty like his mother Alinga and father Goonaroo.

– Donald Gow, senior keeper, Edinburgh Zoo