The koala is a charming unique marsupial and feeds on the leaves of eucalypts. They are
an endangered species and great care is taken to look after these animals. In the early days
this animal was killed for its fur which is very soft and generally grey to brown.
Koalas have large furry ears, have not got a tail, and their fingers are strongly
nailed. The koala is a very good climber and is rather awkward on the ground. They can
scale a tree very quickly. This animal is nocturnal and moves about very little during the
Koalas are naturally solitary in habit and inoffensive but can bite or scratch when being handled.
Their life span is approximately 10 to 12 years. Because of their relatively short life span
and their mating habits (breeding every two years and producing one baby) they are not a prolific
species. The gestation period is about 35 days. The newly born are
approximately 19 millimetres long and weigh round about 5.5grams - this is really tiny.
The first emergence from the pouch is at about 6 months and they are well furred. The baby
stays in the pouch for another two months and is then carried by the mother on her
back. When one year old the young Koala starts an independent life. He/she is grown up.
Recently there has been much concern over some of the eucalypts which are dying from disease.
The number of eucalypts have declined due to settlement and the felling of these trees.
Koalas feed on approximately 12 eucalypt species and they like the trees that have a high oil
content. Koalas rarely drink in the wild state deriving moisture from the gum leaves and also
moisture from the morning dew on these leaves .
The koala has a very specialised anatomy and falls victim to a variety of diseases including kidney
troubles, intestinal parasites and pneumonia. However we do not think it is all doom and gloom
for the koala, and we have noticed over the years that their numbers seem to decline (then it is red
alert - panic stations) and later they recover to their original numbers when different
management strategies are put in place. (This is our own personal observation)