He flew into town first-class, he's occupying the presidential suite in a swanky local hotel and he's got a meeting at the White House on Monday.
It's enough to go to anyone's head, and Nacooma, one of the San Diego Zoo's star koalas, is no exception.
Making his Washington debut Friday at a kid-filled news conference, cuddly-looking Nacooma ignored a carefully arranged "power lunch" of tender eucalyptus leaves.
Instead, he concentrated on trying to bite one of the microphones, to the consternation of his trainer and the delight of the crowd of reporters and kids.
"He's usually very mellow," said Joan Embery, the San Diego Zoo's "goodwill ambassador."
While most koalas split their days between eating and sleeping, Nacooma decided to show that "he's definitely an active youngster," Embery said.
Two-year-old Nacooma, one of 26 koalas at the San Diego Zoo, is scheduled to participate in the annual Easter Egg roll on the White House lawn on Monday.
Each year, the zoo sends several koalas to other cities as part of its effort to share the animals, which still are rare in the United States. Only three other U.S. zoos, in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Miami, exhibit koalas on a permanent basis because of their special requirements, Embery said.
Perhaps the most difficult requirement is ensuring that koalas each day receive enough fresh eucalyptus leaves, their only food. If eucalyptus trees don't grow in a particular area, like Washington, then the zoo there has to have fresh leaves flown in daily, she added.
"That could be difficult _ our koalas eat a couple of hundred pounds a day," she said.
Nacooma wasn't interested in the tangy leaves offered to him during the news conference, however. After trying the microphone for taste, he repeatedly tried to clamber down from a tree stump where zoo officials had placed a bunch of eucalyptus leaves.
When the news conference ended, Nacooma was placed back in a roomy crate and wheeled back to his hotel room. Asked what he'll be doing over the Easter weekend, Embery said, "The length and number of his activities here will be totallydependent on how well he adjusts."