About Koala KiKi of the You Yangs Victoria

kiki koala jumping

KiKi: the great adventurer

Kiki is the most adventurous female koala we’ve ever known. She was first seen as a tiny baby on 28 September 2016 with her mother YuYu.

koala kiki you yangs
Kiki has always been an alert and curious koala.

Back when she was a tiny joey, living over near the main information centre of the You Yangs, she was always very active, climbing around, jumping from tree to tree. She couldn’t wait to be out there, independent, making her own choices.

One of our researchers took some amazing video of Kiki with her mother YuYu, and the pair became the stars of Wild Koala Day, 3 May 2017. The video shared by Tourism Australia was viewed by 1.2million people! https://www.facebook.com/SeeAustralia/videos/10155315791395909/

When she was just about 9 or 10months old she left the safety of her mother’s home range and went travelling. We found her 1.7km away, trying to escape the attentions of a big male koala. She avoided him by climbing to the very outer branches of the tree where her smaller size kept her out of his reach.


In her first year (2017) she had her first joey, a female we named Kozo. She has had a joey every year since then: Lulu in 2018, Mimi in 2019, Lara in 2020, and a joey (unnamed) in 2021.

Kiki mother koala lulu joey
Kiki with her second daughter Lulu in 2018


Most of her joeys have travelled to other areas of the You Yangs, but Kozo, her firstborn, remained a neighbour until 2020. Then she left the area, and in early 2023 KiKi also left.

There’s been a lot of koala movement between 2020 and 2023. Long-term resident adults have vacated their home ranges, koalas have been seen high in the hills, and along rivers and roads in places they haven’t been seen for many years. I think it’s the lovely wet seasons we’ve been having, making many past koala habitats less marginal.

I have no concerns for Kiki’s health – I think she is an adventurous koala, and given the chance to explore, she took it.

koala kozo with joey on back
Kiki’s first daughter Kozo, with her daughter Indi

Family Tree:

Kiki (f) b 2016
YuYu – Anzac

Who does Kiki share her habitat with?

Kiki and Ngardang, who is not her close relative, long shared home ranges. Theirs is an interesting relationship – we don’t know if it is benign or unfriendly, but they lived together for several years.

How will climate change affect her?

Kiki is doing her utmost to help her species, by breeding well and raising healthy joeys. But its hard – a female koala has to consume more gum leaves when she is feeding a joey, which means she needs access to high quality food. As carbon dioxide increases in our atmosphere, eucalyptus trees are becoming less nutritious. So Kiki needs to travel more to find food, or become more aggressive against other females to retain her rights to the best trees.

The best way we can help Kiki is by stopping fossil fuel emissions.

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