Vice President Pence tries hand at koala diplomacy Down Under

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Mike Pence hung out with some Koalas in Australia
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Mike Pence hung out with some Koalas in Australia
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence looks at a koala with his daughters Charlotte and Audrey and a keeper during a visit to Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia, April 23, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Reed
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence looks at a koala being held by a keeper with his wife Karen and daughters Charlotte and Audrey during a visit to Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia, April 23, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Reed
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence watches as his wife Karen attempts to touch a koala during a visit to Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia, April 23, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Reed
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence looks at a koala being held by a keeper with his wife Karen and daughters Charlotte and Audrey during a visit to Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia, April 23, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Reed
Karen Pence, the wife of U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, looks at a koala during a visit to Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia, April 23, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Reed
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SYDNEY (Reuters) - U.S. Vice President Mike Pence crouched down in the shade of a eucalyptus tree on Sunday at Sydney's Taronga Zoo where Penny, a red kangaroo, dozed in the midday heat, scratching her behind the ears before she lazily rolled onto her back.

"That's my usual position on a Sunday afternoon," Pence said as a bank of cameras clicked, capturing yet another picture-perfect moment for his family in Australia.

Pence, his wife Karen, and their two adult daughters, Charlotte and Audrey, saw some of the sights of Sydney, investing time in soft diplomacy on the last leg of a 10-day Asia tour that has been rich with symbolism about shoring up American economic ties and security cooperation.

Karen Pence - who earlier charmed a meet-and-greet with embassy families with her pronunciation of "G'day" - held out a handful of chicory to Widji, an emu who boldly pecked at the bunch.

"OK, OK," she said as Widji's beak came closer to her fingers.

The emu declined to indulge Audrey Pence, 22, who wanted to take a selfie - but Penny the kangaroo obliged.

See more from Vice President Pence's trip:

Pence is the first senior member of President Donald Trump's administration to travel to Australia. The visit took on new emphasis after an acrimonious phone call early in Trump's term with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull about refugees.

Pence sought to put any sense of lingering tension to rest during his visit, which included meetings with Turnbull and other government officials at Admiralty House, an official residence with spectacular views of the Sydney Opera House.

At the zoo, Pence took photos of his daughters on a bluff in front of a panoramic view of the Sydney Harbour.

They posed with Bai'yali, a fluffy eared koala with beady red eyes - but did not cuddle the bear - and also got a close look at an owl. But the owl seemed more interested in the clicking cameras than the Pences.

"He's not really sure about the press," Pence quipped.

Related: See more of Second Lady Karen Pence:

18 PHOTOS
Second Lady Karen Pence
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Second Lady Karen Pence

Vice President Mike Pence is sworn in as his wife Karen Pence watches during inauguration ceremonies swearing in Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States on the West front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2017.

(REUTERS/Carlos Barria)

Karen Pence, wife of Republican vice presidential nominee Gov. Mike Pence, speaks to supporters during a campaign event November 3, 2016 in Berwyn, Pennsylvania. Melania Trump, wife of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, campaigned for her husband, five days before the nation pick her next president.

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, his wife Karen and daughter Charlotte, visit the former German Nazi concentration camp in Dachau near Munich, Germany February 19, 2017.

(REUTERS/Michael Dalder)

U.S. President Donald Trump with his wife Melania and Vice President Mike Pence with his wife Karen cut a cake at the Armed Services Ball in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2017.

(REUTERS/Yuri Gripas)

Indiana governor Mike Pence and wife Karen Pence attends the 2014 IPL 500 Festival Parade during the 2014 Indy 500 Festival at on May 24, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence with his wife Karen waves at a Liberty Ball in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2017.

(REUTERS/Yuri Gripas)

Karen Pence (L), wife of Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence (L), talks with Tiffany (C) and Ivanka Trump before the arrival of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., July 20, 2016.

(REUTERS/Carlo Allegri)

Mike Pence is sworn in as U.S. Vice President as his wife Karen holds a bible during inauguration ceremonies swearing in Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States on the West front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2017.

(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden meet with Vice President elect Mike Pence and Karen Pence at the Naval Observatory in Washington, U.S., November 16, 2016.

(REUTERS/Gary Cameron)

Vice President-elect Mike Pence and his wife Karen greet supporters during a rally for Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump in Manhattan, New York, U.S., November 9, 2016.

(Mike Segar / Reuters)

U.S. Vice President-elect Mike Pence with his wife Karen enters the floor to dance at Indiana Society Ball in Washington, U.S., January 19, 2017.

(REUTERS/Yuri Gripas)

Karen Pence, wife of Republican U.S. vice presidential candidate Governor Mike Pence, waves to other attendees shortly after arriving for the vice presidential debate between her husband and Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Melania Trump, wife to the Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump, and Karen Pence, wife of Trump's running mate, Mike Pence, hold an event at Main Line Sports Centre in Berwyn, Pennsylvania, U.S. November 3, 2016.

(REUTERS/Mark Makela)

U.S. Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence and his wife Karen Pence arrive at U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump?s election night rally in Manhattan, New York, U.S., November 8, 2016.

(REUTERS/Carlo Allegri)

Anne Holton (L), wife of Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine (L), shakes hands with Karen Pence, wife of Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Mike Pence, ahead of the start of their vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016.

(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

Karen Pence, wife of Republican vice presidential nominee Indiana Governor Mike Pence, gestures after her introduction at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 20, 2016.

(REUTERS/Jim Young)

Indiana Governor Mike Pence, the GOP Vice Presidential candidate, greet the crowd along with his wife Karen during a town hall meeting at the Mile High Station August 03, 2016.

(Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

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