A koala with one bright blue eye and one brown due to a rare condition has stunned vets in Australia. They've dubbed her Bowie the koala after the late singer David Bowie who also had one blue and one brown eye and died of liver cancer earlier this year.
The koala was recently admitted to the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital north of Brisbane, after it was picked up by the zoo’s rescue unit near a roadside north of Brisbane last month. It was found injured after presumably being hit by a car.
Vets were stunned to find that the marsupial had different coloured eyes.
Heterochromia is the name of Bowie’s extremely rare condition, which the hospital said was the result of a recessive gene inherited from her parents, affecting the pigmentation in her irises.
"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," treating vet Sharon Griffiths said on Tuesday, adding that Bowie had a bruise on her leg.
"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," she explained
Bowie the singer’s eyes were not different colours due to heterochromia, but rather resulted from an injury he sustained to his eye during a fight he had with a friend at the age of 15.
His left eye was left permanently dilated, making it appear to be brown – a condition known as anisocoria.