October 18, 2018

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were introduced to furry Australian natives with surprising names

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The royal couple couldn't resist petting the adorable baby koalas. The people of New South Wales named the two joeys after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Harry and Markle arrived at the Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia on Monday as part of their tour Down Under. Prior to that, they attended a welcome reception with Governor-General Peter Cosgrove.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle received the namesake as a wedding gift. The pair exchanged vows back in May 2018. It was a creative way the people of New South Wales honored the beloved couple.

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At the zoo, Markle described the little joey as "sweet" and "cute" as she stroked it. Zookeeper Suzie MacNamara spoke to the Duchess about the threat the animals face in the wild.

Mothers, Wattle and Ruby, of the ten-month-old joeys ate eucalyptus leaves on the trees. They seemed undisturbed by the attention given to their babies.

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Markle, 37, and Harry, 34, announced the day before that they themselves were expecting a baby boy. An official presented them with a koala toy as a pregnancy gift.

Cosgrove previously gave the couple a stuffed kangaroo with a baby joey as the couple's first baby gift.

It was Markle's first visit to Australia so she was noticeably more excited with the animals than her partner Harry.

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Both of them took interest in the short-legged echidna named Lynx. They inquired about its excessive drooling. Conservationists told them that the creature was just "excited to see them."

They also got to meet a yellow-bellied glider which is a type of native possum.

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Two young fans: Findlay Blue, 4, and Dash Gallagher, 6, presented the royal couple with native flowers.

The couple then visited the new Taronga Institute of Science and Learning. The building will have five science lab rooms and three student classrooms. It will also house Taronga's "breed-to-release" program.

Markle cut the green tape to officially open the institution. Her husband then unveiled a plaque that commemorated the royals' visit.

Director and chief executive of Taronga Conversation Society Australia, Cameron Kerr, welcomed the royal couple.

"The 600 staff and about 3500 animals are excited to have you both here to mark this really important occasion."

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The "breed-to-release" program has released over 50,000 animals into the wild to date. They work in collaboration with two wildlife hospitals. The institution falls under the Taronga Conservation Society Australia.

Another special visit the couple made was to Prince Harry's close friend Daphne Dunne. The war widow waited in the streets during the royal tour.

The 98-year-old has a tendency to steal kisses from the Prince. This time, she received a warm hug from Harry who insisted the elderly lady meet his wife.

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Dunne congratulated the couple on the "good news," referring to the pregnancy. Meghan told her that "Hopefully next time we see you, we'll have a little one with us."

The Prince and his wife are active in humanitarian efforts of children. They recently honored gravely sick kids and their caregivers at the WellChild Awards in September 2018.

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Harry presented the award for the Most Inspirational Child during the event. It took place at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London.

The couple will continue their Australian tour with a visit to the Sydney Opera House.

The Bangarra Dance Theatre is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dance company. They are set to rehearse "Spirit" 2018 to entertain the royal couple.

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