The koala is a species of mammal that lives in Australia. He looks like a little bear, but he’s actually a marsupial. The koala is closely related to the kangaroo. These two animals are the main symbols of Australia.
A koala’s fur is brownish-gray or silver-grey. In the wild, they live to be around 20 years old. Koalas sleep very long: 16-20 hours a day. They are awake at night.
Koalas are good climbers with sharp claws. In fact, they mostly live in trees too. There they eat leaves and other parts of certain eucalyptus trees. They eat about 200-400 grams of it every day. Koalas almost never drink because the leaves contain enough water for them.
How do koalas reproduce?
Koalas are sexually mature at 2-4 years. At the time of mating, the mother usually has a larger cub with her. However, this then already lives outside of its pouch.
Pregnancy lasts only five weeks. The cub is only about two centimeters long at birth and weighs a few grams. Nevertheless, it is already crawling into its own pouch, which the mother carries on her stomach. In there it also finds the teats from which it can drink milk.
At about five months, it peeks out of the pouch for the first time. Later it crawls out of there and eats the leaves that its mother gives it. However, it will continue to drink milk until it is about one year old. The mother’s teat then sticks out of the pouch and the young animal can no longer crawl into the pouch. The mother then no longer lets it ride on her back.
If the mother becomes pregnant again, the older cub can stay with her. At about one and a half years, however, the mother shoos it away. If the mother does not become pregnant, a cub can stay with its mother for up to three years.
Are koalas endangered?
The predators of koalas are owls, eagles, and the python snake. But also the lizard species of monitor lizards and a certain species of wolves, the dingoes, like to eat koalas.
However, they are most endangered because humans are cutting down their forests. Then the koalas have to flee and often find no more territory. If the forests are even burned down, then many koalas die at once. Many also die of diseases.
There are about 50,000 koalas left on earth. Although they are becoming fewer, koalas are not yet threatened with extinction. The people of Australia like koalas and are opposed to them being killed.