'World’s sexiest koala' becomes viral sensation

A koala in an Australian wildlife sanctuary has become an unlikely social media star after an image of the macho marsupial went viral.

Rogue the koala struck the creepily suggestive pose at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary on Australia’s Gold Coast. People reports that photographer Ross Long captured the image and posted it to his Instagram account, quickly turning Rogue into a star.

“Draw me like one of your French girls, Jack,” reads the caption accompanying the image in a nod to the famous scene between Kate Winslet and Leonardo di Caprio in the movie “Titanic.”

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“You may have seen our very own superstar Koala, Rogue doing the rounds on social media recently,” wrote Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, on Facebook. “He has gained international headlines for being the World’s Sexiest Koala and is now an online megastar!”

Rogue, the Wildlife Sanctuary added, is very much enjoying his five minutes of fame. “The dedicated team at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary are working hard to ensure that he remains humble and doesn’t lose his Aussie larakin [cheeky] charm!!”

While Rogue may be an internet star, the organization notes the massive threat that potentially lethal Koala chlamydia poses to the animals. “Last year a whopping 500 Koalas were admitted to Currumbin Wildlife Hospital (compared to just 25 in 2008) and 80 [percent] of them were treated for the disease. There is real danger that Koalas in the wild may not be around in 20 years!!,” it wrote, in its Facebook post.

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Other Australian animals have gone viral in recent years. In 2015, for example, a musclebound kangaroo named Roger became an internet sensation. The ripped red kangaroo made headlines again when he died of old age last year.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers