There is an animal people refer to as a Teddy bear, they most times call it ‘koala bear’, it is not a bear but rather a nocturnal marsupial.
Koalas are found in the Eucalyptus forests of Eastern Australia. They have Grey fur with a cream-colored chest and strong and clawed feet, perfect for living in the branches of a tree. Koalas measure about 60cm to 85cm long and weigh about14kg.
Koala is one the world’s iconic species. They perch high up in the branches of gum trees sleeping for up to 20 hours a day.
Koalas are arboreal animals which means they live in trees and rely on them for food, shelter and other overall survival.
Koalas look hairy, their hair is more like the rough wool of a sheep. They have opposing thumbs on their hands have rough pads and claws to grab onto branches.
Koalas can eat more than a pound of eucalyptus leaves a day. Eucalyptus is harmful, the koala’s digestive system has to work hard to digest It, breaking down the toxins and getting the essential nutrients.
Koalas grow to become big eaters, they feed on eucalyptus leaves at night, they don’t drink much water but get moisture from leaves. In Aborigine Language, “Koala means no water”.
Koalas are not bears at all, they are classified as nocturnal marsupials, marsupial is mammalian characterized by premature birth and continued growth of the newborn while attached to the nipples on the mother’s lower belly (pouch).
Koala’s pregnancy lasts for 35 days. They give birth to immature young ones of about the size of 2cm, the size of a broad bean, blind, hairless, and poorly developed ear. Infant Koalas are referred to as Joey. It grows and develops in the pouch for about six months. Joey uses a strong sense of touch and smells as well as the instinct to find his way.
Koalas’ lives are threatened by the clearing of forests in Eastern Australia, they are susceptible to diseases that can lead to infertility and death. They are also threatened by collisions with cars.
In South East Queensland, on average almost 300 are killed each year by vehicle. They are also vulnerable to attacks by dogs. Dogs attack and kill them or at times injure them.
Koalas lead a slow lifestyle (largely sedentary) most of the time. They sleep a bunch, due to the nutritional value of their food. When they move, they can be fast, agile, and powerful.
Koalas are wild animals, like every wild animal, they choose to have no contact with humans at all.
Koalas are vulnerable to chlamydia and it manifests more when they are stressed