May 6, 2016 / 10:57 AM / 3 years ago

Click bait: baby koala bites and scratches his way to stardom

BEERWAH, Australia (Reuters) - The first koala joey born at Australia Zoo this season has begun exploring his new surroundings, with his early steps out of the pouch attracting over 100,000 views on social media.

The yet-to-be-named baby boy, the size of a jelly bean when born roughly six months ago, was the first to venture from his mother’s pouch out of a zoo-record 13 that arrived this season.

The two-minute video shows the joey scratching himself and his mother Ash, trying to bite a tree branch and climbing back to the pouch. It has been viewed over 104,000 times since being posted on Facebook by the zoo on April 27.

The joey will stay with his mum for at least a year as he learns vital skills, like climbing, before going independent.

Interest in koala activity is always high. The Queensland-based Australia Zoo said koala-inspired tourism was worth A$3.375 billion ($2.49 billion) to Australia each year.

Writing by Patrick Johnston; Editing by Nick Macfie

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