Support The Moscow Times!

Koala Cuddles for Putin

Koalas are native to Australia and have been a protected species since the 1920s.

President Vladimir Putin will have a chance to get a warm embrace from a koala specially trained to deliver hugs at the upcoming G20 summit in Brisbane, Australia.

A koala keeper at Brisbane's Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary said in comments to the NTD Television news agency that the "most important rule [in koala hugging] is pretending to be a tree," a skill that Putin and other world leaders will have to pick up if they expect to get a cuddle from one of the sanctuary's more than 100 resident koalas.

The summit, scheduled for Nov. 15-16, will bring together the leaders of the world's industrialized nations, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, U.S. President Barack Obama and Russia's Putin.

Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey said the main topic of discussion at the summit would be the world's economic situation, though the Ukraine crisis and the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 would also be on the agenda.

Koalas are native to Australia and have been a protected species since the 1920s. Putin is known for his frequent photo-ops with cuddly creatures, including, most recently, an Amur tiger cub.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

Once
Monthly
Annual
Continue
paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more