By: Vivienne Wellet
Koalas are cute, fluffy animals that everyone loves, at least, almost everyone. Some people hunt koalas for their pelts to sell and to destroy their habitats through deforestation. There are only about 32,000-58,000 of two different species of the northern koala and the southern koala.
Koalas have 30 teeth so they can chew through the food they like including eucalyptus leaves, brush boxes, paperbark, bloodwood trees, and apples. The reasons why koalas are becoming endangered are domestic dog attacks, forest and bush fires, road accidents, and habitat destruction.
They can live up to 13-18 years if they aren’t bothered by any disturbance. Koalas can only be found in Australia as they had the continent to themselves before humans came along and started settling. Usually, if you try to pick up a koala, they might not be so nice and bite you because they feel threatened or scared by humans. However, with all of the forest fires and habitat destruction that is bound to happen in 2022, humans have been trying their best to try and preserve the species so they don’t become endangered, or even worse, extinct.
Since people don’t want to get near koalas because they tend to bite, people have begun using drones and infrared camera senses to count how many koalas are still in the forests of Australia. During the summer, Koalas sometimes overheat so they hug tree trunks because tree trunks are 7 degrees celsius cooler than their body temperatures. Their eyesight is not so good so they use their sense of hearing instead, which allows them to listen as far away as 8 feet away.
Did you know that koalas can swim? Koalas have been known to be able to swim as fast as 18mph. If you ever become in contact or try to help or save koalas they will most likely smell like eucalyptus plants/leaves. When koala mothers have a joey(known as a koala baby) they feed it with their poop for the first six months, then after they drink milk produced by their mother.
After six months have passed, they feed on fecal matter and grow sharp teeth to bite through plants and protect themselves. Koalas also have sharp claws which they use to climb trees in Australia. So as we go into the future, protect these species so they can live and future human beings can see what Koalas are.
Picture from The Scientist Magazine