Featherdale Wildlife Park - Sydney Australia

Sydney’s Hands-On Wildlife Experience

Archer the Koala Joey


Meet Archer, the tough little Koala joey who is melting hearts with keepers and visitors at Featherdale Wildlife Park! Follow Archer on Facebook at Facebook/archerthekoala

Featherdale offers all day, up close encounters with Koalas in the Koala Sanctuary.  There's no need to book and there's no additional charge! You might even see Archer and his friends hanging out in the Sanctuary's joey daycare enclosure.

Archer the Koala and Aria



In June, 2014 and weighing at just 300 grams, keepers became concerned that Archer wasn’t thriving like other Koala joeys his age.  “With the arrival of cold weather, we were worried that mum, Chloe wasn’t taking great care of her joey as she normally would”, Featherdale Wildlife Park’s General Park Curator, Chad Staples said.  “In the end, we made the tough decision to remove Archer from his mum and hand-raise him in order to give him the greatest chance of survival”. 

A seasoned keeper, with over 15 years experience, Mr Staples has raised his fair share of baby animals, but Archer had him wrapped around a little paw from the very beginning.  “You’d think after working with animals for so long, you’d develop a thick skin but Archer is pretty special.  I have to admit that I’m totally smitten, who wouldn’t be!” After being placed on a special Koala milk formula, Archer has already put on 100 grams and is now starting to eat eucalyptus leaves.  “We’re not too sure why he wasn’t thriving under his mother’s care”, Mr Staples said, “Chloe has raised joeys before and is normally a great mum but it could be that her milk production dried up.  She seemed to have had Archer out on her back too much, at such a young age.  He just wasn’t growing like other Koala joeys his age should”.

Archer the Koala - Weigh In


When Archer was first born, he made his way to his mum Chloe's pouch using his sense of sight and smell.  Once nestled in the warmth and safety of the pouch, Archer attached himself to one of two teats began drinking milk which he continued to do for the next 7 months.

At 5.5 months, Archer was also fed 'Pap' which Chloe produced in addition to her milk.  Pap, which is a form of faeces is essential in assisting Archer make the transitiion from milk to eucalyptus leaves.  It is a rich source of protein and essential micro-organisms which help Koalas digest the toxic eucalyptus leaves which make up their diet.  

Archer is now spoilt with a fresh supply of eucalyptus leaves every day.  Between naps, he spends his days munching happily away on a variety of fresh tips which also provides his water supply too.

Archer Nom Nom


It's a tough life being the smallest Koala joey Archer has his best friend Aria around to take care of him!  


Check out our great range of Wildlife Sponsorship packages and help Featherdale support the conservation of our amazing Australian native animals.  

(Please note that sponsorship does not include a private encounter with Archer as he is too little but he spends most of his days in the Koala Sanctuary and you may be able to see him during your visit).

Simply download the SPONSORSHIP FORM and fax or email to info@featherdale.com.au


  • Entry for one person to Featherdale Wildlife Park.
  • Fact sheet on the sponsored animal.
  • Sponsorship certificate.


  • Entry for one family (2 adults & 2 children) to Featherdale Wildlife Park.
  • Fact sheet on the sponsored animal.
  • Sponsorship certificate.


  • Entry for one family (2 adults and 2 children).
  • 15 minute private wildlife encounter.*
  • Fact sheet on the sponsored animal.
  • Sponsorship certificate.
  • Sponsor's name on the sponsorship board at Featherdale Wildlife Park.

Private wildlife encounter will not be with Archer as he is just too little but you may catch him napping or snacking during your visit to the Koala Sanctuary.


  • Entry for one family (2 adults and 2 children).
  • 45 minute Private guided tour with keeper. 
  • Fact sheet on the sponsored animal.
  • Sponsorship certificate.
  • Sponsor's name on the sponsorship board at Featherdale Wildlife Park.


September 26th not only celebrated Save the Koala day but it also heralded another giant milestone - Archer's 1kg weigh in!  Keepers were estactic to see how big Archer had grown over the last 3.5 months and whilst he is still smaller than other Koalas his age, the little joey is growing strong and healthy.

Archer to Koala - 1kg weigh in!


It's never easy for foster 'mums' to give up the care of their little charges and the same couldn't be more true in Archer's case.  In August, Archer first started spending nights on his own at the Park and enjoyed his first play date with another Koala joey his age and his half sister, 'Ghera'.  

During hand-raising, it is easy for animals to forget how to be an animal as they grow and bond with their human carers.  This is why keepers made sure to slowly reintroduce Archer to other Koalas so that he could learn how to be a Koala again, climb trees, forage for leaves and interact with other Koalas.  Archer now spends his days with other young Koalas in Featherdale's Koala Sanctuary and loves climbing to the highest branch in the enclosure.  His foster 'mum' is never far and always drops by to check on how Archer is going.

Archer and foster 'mum'