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The Marsupial Hut

KOALA
Phascolarctos cinereus

This is a Koala! Koalas are marsupial animals. That means that they have pouches on their tummies that they carry their babies in. Koalas live in eastern Australia in Eucalyptus forests. Eucalyptus is a tree that Koalas love to eat. They also like to eat mistletoe and box plant leaves. Koalas look a bit like teddy bears and have very soft fur. People used to hunt them for their fur, but they are protected from hunters by law now, so that they will not become extinct. Koalas are about 30 inches long and can live up to 20 years. They spend their days taking it easy in Eucalyptus trees. They slowly munch the leaves until they decide to find another tree to hang out in. Male Koalas eat during the day and sleep at night. Females eat at night and sleep all day! Koalas do not need to drink much water because they get most of the moisture they need from the leaves they eat. Koalas also love to sleep. They can spend up to 19 hours a day sleeping or resting.

Koalas are peaceful animals but can be dangerous if bothered. They have very long, sharp claws that help them hang onto trees. They grip the branches so firmly that it is almost impossible to pull them off. Koalas spend most of their day up in trees but when they are on the ground they can run fast. When it gets cold, Koalas will curl or roll up to stay warm.

Female Koalas have one baby at a time. The baby Koala is very small, about the size of a bean. The baby stays in its mother's pouch where it nurses for about six months before it starts to come out. At a year old the baby is old enough to be on his own.

 


Photo courtesy of Rich's Bro's Pics

Here are some cool facts about Koalas:

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