Here at New Mandala we have been following the Chiang Mai pandas’ efforts to reproduce with considerable interest. But now, in much more exciting news, The Nation reports:

Chiang Mai Zoo has welcomed a new-born koala bear, as one of the four marsupials – sent from Australia to Thailand to mark the 60th anniversary of His Majesty the King’s accession to the throne – gave birth in January.

The baby had climbed into her front pouch and would stay there for five to six months before it would emerge and cling on its mother’s back.

The surprise pregnancy took place in Chiang Mai Zoo, where public attention has been focused on the female panda from China, Lin Hui, who still shows no signs of getting pregnant to her over-weight companion, despite Bt15 million being spent creating a suitable environment for the pair. Lin Hui was recently artificially inseminated.