Buy Now!

 

When a koala has found a suitable eucalyptus tree, it is not likely to climb down to the ground again until the leaf supply is diminished or it decides to take a drink from a stream. Click on the icons below to learn where koalas live, what they eat, how they hunt and how they reproduce. You can even pet a koala in Zoobooks Virtual Zoo!

Hunt

The only thing a koala will hunt is its favorite eucalyptus tree. When it has found a suitable tree, the koala is not likely to climb down to the ground again until the leaf supply is diminished or it decides to take a drink from a stream. Koalas are very awkward on the ground, but can be as fast as a rabbit.

Eat

Koalas are very particular about the species of eucalyptus they will eat. Although there are 600 different kinds of eucalyptus growing in various parts of Australia, most are unacceptable to the finicky koala. Some koalas will eat the leaves of only two or three eucalyptus species—and if those species are not available, the koalas will not eat at all. This is the primary reason that few zoos around the world are successful at exhibiting koalas.

Multiply

All marsupials, including koalas, begin life very differently from other mammals. This birth process is one of the main ways marsupials are distinguished from other mammals. Koalas give birth to ‘unfinished’ babies. After only 30 days inside the mother, a blind and deaf infant—only three quarters of an inch long—emerges to make a five minute climb into its mother’s pouch. Inside, the baby attaches itself to a milk source. It will spend the next six months hidden from the world, growing and developing much like other mammals do before they are ever born. The first time it emerges from the pouch, a koala is about eight inches long and ready (with mother’s help) to start eating eucalyptus leaves.

Habitat

All marsupials, including koalas, begin life very differently from other mammals. This birth process is one of the main ways marsupials are distinguished from other mammals. Koalas give birth to ‘unfinished’ babies. After only 30 days inside the mother, a blind and deaf infant—only three quarters of an inch long—emerges to make a five minute climb into its mother’s pouch. Inside, the baby attaches itself to a milk source. It will spend the next six months hidden from the world, growing and developing much like other mammals do before they are ever born. The first time it emerges from the pouch, a koala is about eight inches long and ready (with mother’s help) to start eating eucalyptus leaves.

Survival Status

The mammal extinction rate is higher in Australia than anywhere else in the world. In earlier years, koalas disappeared from certain parts of the continent when their eucalyptus trees were cut down to make room for farms. Nowadays, however, people in eastern Australia try to take good care of koalas. In places where koalas are likely to cross roadways to reach water or fresh trees, signs have been erected to warn drivers to be on the lookout for these cuddly-looking creatures. People want the koalas to thrive.