The Koala Bear is usually recognized by its own fluffy little body and cute innocent looking face. Native to Australia it resides only in particular areas of Australia.
The Koala Bear is not really a bear, but thought to be mistaken as one by the European settlers in the late 1800’s.
The Koala’s in the south are generally much larger than those from the North. They tend to have thicker coats of fur to keep them warm in the cool winters. The Queensland koalas have a tendency to be smaller with less fur.
The basic diet of the Koala is Eucalyptus leaves which may grow in the tall gum trees of Australia or low lying Eucalyptus plants. There are many distinct varieties of Eucalyptus of that only several will the koala feed . The leaves are hard to chew, high in fiber and low in protein. Together with a reduced metabolic rate the koala must conserve energy and does this by sleeping up to 19 hours a day. When awake 3 of those 5 hours have been spent eating.
Koalas communicate with bellowing to each other and although appear to be a docile creature, they can be quite vicious.
They have sharp teeth and claws which aid in climbing and chewing the tough diet they need. Rarely do they drink water, although will do so if absolutely necessary.
Breeding period is during the Australian spring/summer from around September to March. A koala can have one pup a year up until around 12 years of age.
Gestation is 35 days old, where the tiny pup is born blind and with no fur. It makes it way to the back facing pouch where it feeds off the two teats for another 6 months. Babies will make their way from the pouch around 8 months and cling onto its mother’s back. Sometimes a koala will have off its mother’s stomach. The infant is fully weaned at 12 months.
Koalas can hang out with their mom for about 3 years or until another baby is born.
Regrettably the koala is in decline, mainly because of urbanization which has led to the destruction of its habitat. Even though the koala is currently recognized as’vulnerable’ by the Australian government, its habitat is not protected.