oldest koala in captivity

24-year-old koala Midori of Japan is now recognized as the oldest living koala in captivity and oldest koala in captivity ever

Residing at Awaji Farm Park England Hill in Minami Awaji, Hyogo Prefecture, Midori's current age is the human equivalent of over 110 years old!

On average, koalas live to 15 to 16; Midori's age far surpasses that. What is more remarkable is that Midori still climbs trees, feeds by herself, and in a condition where she can appear in front of visitors.

Midori looking up

According to Kazuhiko Tahara, the head of England Hill, Midori's health and longevity would not have been possible without other people's support.

"It's thanks to enormous support and courage from everyone, including farmers who deliver fresh Eucalyptus to us."

Midori was born on the 1st of February, 1997, in Australia. 

In 2003, Midori was sent from Yanchep National Park to Hyogo Prefecture as a gift from the Western Australia state government.

Oldest living koala Midori eating eucalyptus

Midori's typical day (like other koalas) she eats and sleeps and then she repeats that cycle. Sometimes zookeepers have to help her with feeding or excretion. 

According to the keeper who looks after Midori, her unique trait comes straight after climbing up a tree: "she shakes her head and makes a smug face."

Oldest living koala Midori up on a tree

Midori was one of four koalas that came to England Park in 2003, and at the time, staff at England Park didn't expect Midori to live for this long. 

"She was the slimmest and the most helpless-looking of the four. We didn't expect her to live for such a length for that reason, so she's surprised us!"

Oldest living koala Midori when she was younger, taken in June 2005

Koalas are sensitive creatures, and at England Park, visitors can only see the koalas through a glass window. Most staff at England Park cannot interact with koalas either - only zookeepers who work with koalas can get close to them.

The koala keepers clip their nails, brush them regularly, and do a health check every month (including weighing and blood tests). 

Koalas' appetite can change depending on their stomach condition, so keepers also check their bowel movements and examine their stomach by touch. 

If required, keepers take care of them in various ways, including a massage, and keep a good eye on subtle changes to their condition.

Oldest living koala Midori getting her nail clipped

In addition, England Park is the only zoo in Japan that keeps Victorian Koalas. 

The venue envisages working on breeding as well to maintain Victorian Koala population within Japan.

Kazuhiro says he is happy to see Midori receive not one but two Guinness World Records Certificates: "I'm very grateful that she was certified for such an honourable record, and provided an opportunity for a lot of people to know about her."

Oldest living koala Midori asleep

The staff at England Park now hope to be with Midori for as long as possible. They also hope to welcome more visitors who come to see Midori.

To be able to show Midori to the public is in itself miraculous. We hope to welcome visitors to see her being well and active.

Photos courtesy of Awaji Farm Park England Hill