The Koala Bear is usually recognized by its fluffy little body and cute innocent looking face. Native to Australia it resides only in particular areas of Australia.
The Koala Bear isn’t actually a bear, but believed to be confused as one by the European settlers in the late 1800’s.
Interestingly there are no koala’s in Western Australia, Northern Territory or Tasmania. The Koala’s from the south are generally much larger than those from the North. The Queensland koalas tend to be smaller with less fur.
The basic diet of the Koala is Eucalyptus leaves that may grow in the tall gum trees of Australia or low lying Eucalyptus plants. There are lots of distinct varieties of Eucalyptus of which just several will the koala feed . The leaves are hard to chew, high in fiber and low in protein. Along with a reduced metabolic rate the koala must conserve energy and does this by waking to 19 hours a day. When awake 3 of those 5 hours are spent eating.
Koalas communicate by bellowing to each other and although appear to be a docile creature, they can be very vicious.
They have sharp teeth and claws which aid in climbing and chewing the tough diet they require. Rarely do they drink water, although will do so if absolutely necessary.
Breeding time is during the Australian spring/summer from around September to March. A koala can have one pup a year up until about 12 years old.
Gestation is 35 days old, where the small pup is born blind and with no fur. It makes it way to the rear facing pouch where it feeds off the two teats for the next 6 months. Babies will make their way from the pouch around 8 months and cling onto its mother’s back. The infant is completely weaned at 12 months.
Koalas can hang out with their mom for about 3 years or until another baby is born.
Unfortunately the koala is in decline, mainly because of urbanization which has caused the destruction of its habitat. Although the koala is now known as’vulnerable’ by the Australian authorities, its habitat isn’t protected.