Friday, 26 May 2006



Took in Gold Coast Dream World. Sleeping on the branch on it's butt.

The word 'koala' means "animal that does not drink" and, plus the above-mentioned reference about this. The Koala actually does drink water, but only rarely, due to its diet consisting of eucalyptus leaves, which contain sufficient water to obviate the need for the Koala to climb down for a drink.

Sometimes called the Koala Bear, although it is not part of the bear family and the name 'bear' is a misnomer. It is a generally silent creature, but males have a very loud advertising call that can be heard from almost a kilometre away during the breeding season. There is little reliable information about the lifespan of the Koala, but in captivity they have been observed to reach the age of 15 years.

A baby Koala is referred to as a joey and is hairless, blind, and earless. At birth the joey, only the size of a jelly bean, crawls into the downward-facing pouch on the mother's belly (which is closed by a drawstring-like muscle that the mother can tighten at will) and attaches itself to one of the two teats. Young remain hidden in the pouch for about six months, only feeding on milk. During this time they grow ears, eyes, and fur. The joey then begins to explore outside of the pouch. At about 30 weeks it has begun to eat the semi-liquid form of the mother’s excrement called "pap". The baby Koala will remain with the mother for another six months or so, riding on her back, and feeding on both milk and gum leaves until weaning is complete at about 12 months of age. Young females disperse to nearby areas at that time; young males often stay in the mother's home range until they are two or three years old.

The Koala was hunted almost to extinction in the early 20th century, largely for its fur. In recent years, some colonies have been hard hit by disease, especially chlamydia.


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