He is adorable:
You do not get any time with the koala really, but still, he is cute and I got to hold him for a minute. Jem asked if he was soft; that picture above was the only contact I had with him. His butt was not particularly soft as I remember, but I was not truly thinking about it at the time.
The process is very quick and the rules are clear. There are footprints on the ground that you stand on. They tell you how to hold your hands and then they put the koala on your hands while tempting him with eucalyptus to keep him looking towards the camera. The picture gets taken and then the koala is removed. Since both hands are supporting the koala you don’t get an opportunity to pet/feel him. That is probably intended; to limit contact with them.
Since I was alone, one of the keepers offered to take pictures for me which is how I got the picture above. I did not realize at the time, but the $25 gets you a physical print, not a digital picture. So I am glad she offered to do that for me.
There were some people that they had to try a bunch of koalas on — as in none of the koalas looked pleased with the hand off. I do not know if they were just picky koalas or if those people had scents or something on them that was not liked. One lady I felt a little bad for, they tried three koalas and then pulled her off into another area to keep trying so that the line was not held up.
The koala transfer went smoothly for me.