Saturday, November 15, 2014

Gettin' Their Koala Freak On at This Year's G20 Leaders' Summit in Brisbane

**This entry was posted on November 15, 2014.**

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and U.S. President Barack Obama both holding koalas at the opening of the G20 Leaders' Summit in Brisbane, Australia, November 15, 2014.

Prime Minister Abbott is hosting this year's G20 Leaders' Summit. I get the feeling he has held koala bears before. (OK, they aren't really "bears" -- just koalas.)

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The annual G20 Leaders' Summit is underway and this year it is occurring in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. At the start of the two-day summit today (November 15th, 2014), leaders from the G20 member states and this year's guest members got to meet a pair of koalas (to be clear, it looks like there were two of them). Koalas are, of course, among the most famous of Australian animals.

U.S. President Barack Obama holds a koala whose head is being petteed by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, start of the G20 Leaders' Summit, Brisbane, Australia, November 15, 2014.

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The full Flickr photo gallery here and Huffington Post.com article here.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Russian President Vladimir Putin both holding koalas at the opening of the G20 Leaders' Summit in Brisbane, Australia, November 15, 2014.

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One of the koalas is named Jimbelung. I couldn't determine the name of the other one. They both might be from the nearby Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, where the G20 leaders' spouses went for a visit. Also, I could not determine if their keeper at the koala meet is named Michele Barnes or Michele Barneds -- both show up on the Flickr stream captions. I have written it here as "Barnes" since that seems more likely.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott holds a koala while German Chancellor Angela Merkel and IMF President Christine Lagarde look on dotingly, at the start of the G20 Leaders' Summit, Brisbane, Australia, November 15, 2014.

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German Chancellor Merkel pets the koala held by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, start of G20 Leaders' Summit, Brisbane, Australia, November 15, 2014.

No, Ms. Merkel, the koala's name is not "Austerity" -- just sayin'.

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Canadian Prime Minster Stephen Harper holding a koala at the start of the G20 Summit, Brisbane, Australia, November 15, 2014.

This koala bear looks like it has a lazy eye.

It must be great to be the Conservative Prime Minister of Canada: You and your political party and the country that you lead can, no questions asked, exploit every natural resource available on the planet through all those behemoth extractive Canadian corporations operating all over the world -- your own country wealthy and pristine -- and all while the rest of humanity thinks you're basically some snowy combination of Dudley Do-Right and Jesus Christ.

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott greet a koala held by Michele Barnes* at the start of the G20 Leaders' Summit in Brisbane, Australia, November 15, 2014.

*See above for name issue.

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South Korean President Park Geun-hye holds a koala at the G20 Leaders' Summit, Brisbane, Australia, November 15, 2014.

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The President of Myanmar U Thein Sein holding a koala at the G20 Summit, Brisbane, Australia, November 15, 2014.

I assume Myanmar (formerly Burma Shave) is one of the guest member G20 countries at this year's Leaders' Summit.

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Prime Minister of New Zealand John Key holds a koala at the start of the G20 Leaders' Summit in Brisbane, Australia, November 15, 2014.

Prime Minster Key, may I please move to your country? I'll take any old desk job in Auckland.

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There were two other pictures that I didn't post of leaders holding a koala that are linked here: Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

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OK, that concludes this entry. A jukebox Saturday night entry to follow in a bit.

--Regulus

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