Meet Bowie, The Rescue Koala With Different Colored Eyes

Keep your 'lectric eye on me, babe. Luke Reavley/Australia Zoo

This is "Bowie", the koala bear with heterochromia. Much like music's greatest odd color-eyed star, she already has streams of fans and admirers.

The wild koala was found on the side of the road in Brendale in Queensland, Australia following a run-in with a car. Although she was lucky enough to only suffer a badly bruised leg, she was taken into care by the Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors, where keepers named Bowie after discovering she was graced with two different colored eyes.

Bowie has a rare condition called heterochromia, which causes differences in pigmentation, often between the irises of the two eyes. Although it can be acquired later in life, it is generally inherited through a recessive gene.

"Bowie's heterochromia doesn't affect how she sees the world around her, in fact her eyesight is great, exactly what we like to see in a young koala," Sharon Griffiths, treating vet at the zoo, said in a statement, Australian Geographic reports.

"Apart from being extremely lucky in avoiding injury on the road, she's also incredibly unique as heterochromia isn't a common occurrence in koalas; it's more often found in domestic mammal species such as dogs and cats."

As many hardened fans have pointed out, David Bowie didn’t actually have heterochromia. Instead, it's believed the late, great star had a condition called anisocoria, characterized by a permanently dilated left pupil, which he is believed to have obtained from an injury in a fight at school.

However, Australia Zoo acknowledged this in a Facebook post, adding: “Bowie the koala was named for her resemblance to David Bowie. She captivated us all in the same way Bowie did. Isn't she a little beauty?!”

Bowie’s recovery is going well so far and the zoo has full intention to release her back into the wild when she's back to full health.


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