At first glance, Izzy Bee seems like your typical 13-year-old Australian girl. She loves hanging out with her friends and is currently enjoying Year 7 of school. Once you get to know her, you soon realize she is anything but typical!
Bee is known as The Koala Whisperer. She has her own show on Netflix called “Izzy’s Koala World.” Bee’s mother Ali is a veterinarian who bought an animal clinic with her husband Tim.
Now, Izzy works with her parents on the show, rescuing koalas and releasing them back into the wild on Magnetic Island in Australia.
“It’s very fun and educational to be able to work with the koalas,” Izzy said. “All koalas are different, they are most definitely not cute, lazy fur balls.”
Izzy has observed koalas wrestling each other and biting and nipping her mother and her when they’re hungry. Others are stealthy and elegant like house cats, and some are a bit “clumsy and weird,” she said.
A typical day in the life of Izzy includes waking up and checking on her koalas and making sure they are happy and healthy. She also helps to feed the joeys, as baby koalas are called. In the afternoon, she feeds the koalas leaves and makes sure their enclosures are properly shut so they don’t escape.
“I just love the feeling of helping people and animals in need of care,” Izzy said.
A particular koala that affected Izzy was one named Leia. “She changed my life and was an amazing koala—she had the best personality,” Izzy added. You can see more about Leia in episodes three, seven and eight of “Izzy’s Koala World.” Leia was named after—you guessed it—Princess Leia from the iconic Star Wars franchise. The koala has particularly fluffy ears that look a lot like Princess Leia’s signature hairstyle.
Izzy wants people to know that a big problem for koalas outside of Magnetic Island is the sexually transmitted infection chlamydia.
“Luckily, the island’s population barely has any cases of it,” she said. “Another big issue for koalas that we run into is Cryptococcus, which is a fungal infection affecting the lungs, nose and mouth, causing breathing difficulties.”
American children who want to help the koalas that Izzy works with can raise awareness by letting their friends know what Izzy and her mother are doing for the animals.
“We put a lot of effort into saving these koalas,” Izzy said.
When Izzy is older, she hopes to continue working with her mother, but would also like to pursue acting.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Izzy’s family currently is working with 11 koalas.
Koalas are currently facing extinction by the year 2050. The Australia Koala Foundation currently estimates that there are less than 100,000 koalas left in the wild, with possibly as few as 43,000.
Season one of “Izzy’s Koala World” is currently on Netflix with eight episodes streaming now.