Koala bears are not actually “bears” ! People just call them like that because of their teddy bear look!
The koala bears are relatives to kangaroos and to wombats. The koala bears are marsupial mammals. Unfortunately, now there are only around 40,000 koalas left in the wild! Although they are not officially classified as endangered, the population of Australian koala bears has dropped by 90% in the last ten years. This is mostly due to the destruction of the their natural habitat, a narrow crescent on the eastern coast of Australia.
Koalas eat about two and a half pounds of eucalyptus leaves per day. In fact, they eat so much leaves that they take on the fragrance of the oil and end up smelling like cough drops.
A newborn koala, a joey or a cub is so small, it is a size of a jellybean. The cubs are born blind, without ears and without fur.
Tucked into trees, koala bears sleep up to 18 hours during the day !
After giving birth, a mother koala will carry the baby cub in her pouch for about six months. After it emerges, the newborn cub clings to its mother’s back or belly until it is one year old.
Even though koalas look so soft and cuddly, but to the touch, they are not so much. They have a really thick wool like fur that protects them from both heat and cold and also helps to repel the water. In fact, they have the thickest fur of all marsupials.
Check out this video of some cute Koala Bears !
In the wild male koalas live up to 10 years of age and females can live a few years more. Koalas have 5 digits on each front paw. Two of those are opposed to the others, very similar to our thumbs are able to be moved differently from the fingers. This helps them to hold firmly onto the branches and also to grip their food.
Koala bears can also communicate with each other by making a range of noises. They make this startling and unexpected noises that sound like a loud snore. You would not expect that kind of sounds from these seemingly gentle animals.