Did you know that koalas smell like cough drops? This is because they eat a diet that mainly consists of eucalyptus leaves. Most people believe that the koala is a bear, but it is actually a marsupial like the kangaroo. Baby koalas are carried in their mother’s pouch till they are about 6 months and then on her back for another 6 months till they are weaned.

Koalas may seem slow because they are always sleeping! These adorable tree huggers doze for 18 to 20 hours a day! This is not because the koala is lazy, but because the eucalyptus leaves that it eats do not provide much nutrition and the koala has learned to conserve its energy. However, a disturbed koala can break into a bounding gallop, moving at a speed of up to 30 km/h.

Koalas are native to Australia and spend most of their time up in the trees. The word koala means ‘no drink’ in the Aboriginal language, as koalas manage to get their daily supply of water from the leaves that they eat. However they are known to occasionally drink from creeks and streams.

Koalas are nocturnal and have poor vision. They rely heavily on other senses like hearing, which helps them to detect the presence of predators and other koalas. An adult koala is about 24 inches long and weighs about 14 kg.

Koala populations in Australia have shown a decline in the past years due to climate change, habitat loss, bushfires and diseases. As of February 2022, Australia has upgraded the conservation status of koalas from ‘vulnerable’ to ‘endangered’. It is feared that the koala will be extinct by 2050, unless world-wide efforts are made to reverse climate change.

Picture Credit : Google

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