Native to Australia it resides only in certain areas of Australia.
The Koala Bear is not really a bear, but believed to be confused as one by the European settlers in the late 1800’s.
The koala resides in Southern Australia upward and along the east coast of Australia as far north as Cape York peninsula. Interestingly there are no koala’s in Western Australia, Northern Territory or Tasmania. The Koala’s from the south are generally much larger than those in the North. They tend to have thicker coats of fur to keep them warm in the cool winters. The Queensland koalas tend to be smaller with less fur.
The staple 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 different varieties of Eucalyptus of that only several will the koala feed . The leaves are hard to chew, high in fiber and low in protein. Along with a low metabolic rate the koala must conserve energy and does this by sleeping up to 19 hours per day. When awake 3 of those 5 hours have been spent eating.
Koalas communicate with bellowing to each other and although seem to be a docile creature, they can be very vicious.
They have sharp claws and teeth that aid in climbing and chewing the tough diet they require. Rarely do they drink water, although will do this if absolutely necessary.
Breeding time 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 small pup is born blind and with no fur. It makes it way to the rear facing pouch where it feeds off the two teats for the next 6 months. Babies will make their way out of 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 mother for around 3 years or until another baby is born.
Regrettably the koala is in decline, largely due to urbanisation which has led to the destruction of its habitat. Even though the koala is now recognised as’vulnerable’ by the Australian authorities, its habitat isn’t protected.