Featured Animal: Koala

Meet our featured animal: the koala!

koala3

Friday, September 30 is Save the Koala Day!

Here are five fun facts about koalas:

  • Koalas are not bears, despite the common phrase, “koala bear”. Koalas are actually marsupials, like kangaroos and wombats. This means female koalas have pouches where their young stay until fully-developed.
  • Koalas are well-adapted to sitting in trees. They have a curved backbone and two fewer pairs of ribs than most mammals (11 instead of 13) creating a curled skeletal structure that fits well into the forks of branches.
  • Although there are 600 types of eucalyptus trees, koalas generally limit their diet to two or three favorite kinds.
  • Koalas have a special kind of bacteria in their stomachs that break down the fiber and toxic oils in eucalyptus leaves. This bacteria is passed down from mother koala to joey via a substance the mother produces called pap.
  • A koala’s pregnancy lasts 35 days. When the joey is born, it is only 2 cm (less than an inch) long. Although hairless and blind, the newborn uses its strong forelimbs to climb from the birth canal into the mother’s pouch.

Learn more about koalas at our koala facts article.

 

Peekaboo! Koala Joey Emerges from Pouch

Taronga Western Plains Zoo, located just outside of Sydney, Australia, welcomed a fresh face to their crew. A koala joey emerged from its mother’s pouch to take a look around. See photos here:

Koala joey

Photo by Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

Koala mama and joey

Photo by Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

Koala joey

Photo by Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

“Oh Hello There!” Koala Joey Emerges from Pouch at Taronga Western Plains Zoo

Koala joey

Meet Storm, a seven month old joey. Photo by Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

Visitors to the Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo, Australia delight in the new koala joey on view. Named Storm, the seven-month-old joey is the first koala joey of the season to emerge from his pouch.

This is the second joey for mother Wild Girl. Wild Girl came to the zoo’s wildlife hospital after she suffered a hip wound after being struck by a car and was unable to be returned to the wild.

Koala joey and mother

Storm with his mother Wild Girl. Photo by Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

“Thunder is approximately seven-months-old, born in January 2015. Wild Girl is quiet protective of Thunder. He can be seen on the front of her chest for now but in the coming months will start to move on to her back,” said keeper Karen James.

For more information about the koala joeys at Taronga Western Plains Zoo, visit www.zoofari.com.au.

Learn more about koalas at our koala facts article.

Koala Joey Makes Appearance at Taronga Western Plains Zoo

Koala joey

Say hello to Rosea, the baby koala who recently emerged from her mother’s pouch at the Taronga Western Plains Zoo. Photo by Natacha Richards, Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

At the Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo, Australia, visitors got the first glimpse of a new fuzzy face! A female koala joey, named Rosea after a species of flowering eucalypt, emerged from her mother’s pouch.

“Rosea is approximately eight-months-old and is a little shy at present, preferring to stay close to mum’s chest but in the coming months will start to move on to her mother’s back,” said keeper Natacha Richards.

The zoo has two more koala joeys and many wallaby joeys that have yet to emerge from their mothers’ pouches.  So visitors to the zoo will have a lot to look forward to!

Koala joey

Photo by Jackie Stuart, Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

Koala joey by Rachel Hanlon_3

Photo by Rachel Hanlon, Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

Learn more about the koala joey at the Taronga Western Plains Zoo website.

For more information about koalas, see our koala facts article.

New Animal Article: Koala

Check out the latest article added to Animal Fact Guide:
Koala

Koala
Koalas have special adaptations that enable them to feast on eucalyptus leaves. Eucalyptus leaves are highly fibrous and poisonous to other animals. But koalas have bacteria in their stomachs that break down the fiber and toxic oils and allow them to absorb 25% of the nutrients.
Learn more about koalas »