Can you imagine anything cuter and more adorable than a small, furry animal that looks like it just woke up, clinging on to a tree and eating leaves? Not much images of anything cuter comes to mind does it? Well if there are none then you shall surely love the adorable koala.
The koala is one of the most popular symbols of Australia. It is a marsupial that is native to the continent. When Australia got separated from the super-continent this species did not have the chance to leave the area that would become an isolated continent. This means that you won’t find koalas anywhere else in the world but in Australia. These fun facts talk about this adorable little friend of ours.
Contrary to people calling them “koala bears” these amazing animals are not related to bears at all, not one bit. Koalas may resemble the teddy bears you had in your bedrooms as kids but that is where the similarity ends. Koalas are marsupials meaning they have a pouch to nurture their young in just like the kangaroo. Unlike the kangaroo and other marsupials, the koala’s pouch does not open upward but opens downward instead.
The name koala in Aboriginal Australian language means “no water”. That’s because these marsupial gain most of their moisture from the leaves that they lovingly devour. So now you know if you get lost in the outback and ask an Aborigine for some water and he replies, “Koala” well then you’re in trouble.
If you think koalas do nothing but spend most of their lives in trees then you’ll be surprised to see how well they swim. Oftentimes, during occasions of flooding in their habitat koalas have been known to navigate the rising waters to safety in an effortless manner. There are unverified reports that Ian Thorpe used to be a koala but that hasn’t been proven.
The Eucalyptus leaves that the koala eats are known to be poisonous to other animals. The koala is able to eat this freely though because of their unique digestive system. They have a special kind of teeth that crushes the leaves into a paste-like substance to swallow. Their astoundingly long digestive tract, which measures 2 meters, contains unique microbes that break the poisonous oils down. Without these microbes koalas would be poisoned like other animals as well.
Although not technically categorized in the endangered species list, koala populations are seriously dwindling. They were once hunted aggressively for food and fur and with a low birth rate coupled with vanishing habitats they are losing the fight to thrive and survive.
The koala can be saved from this dwindling population problem. Several groups and organizations have set up sanctuaries to further conservation efforts. The Australian Koala Foundation (AKF) is the principal non-profit, non-government organisation dedicated to the conservation and effective management of the wild koala and its habitat. The AKF was formed in 1986 and will be celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2016. Since our founding, and under the direction of Chief Executive Officer Deborah Tabart OAM, the AKF has grown from a small group of people interested in researching koala disease, to a well-known, global organisation with a strong track record in strategic koala research, conservation and community education with a huge focus on mapping
Purchasing from online brands that help endangered animals is one of them. Our clothing company, Endangered Apparel has a lineup of Koala clothing that includes a really cool koala shirt that really glorifies these cuddly marsupials. As part of their commitment to conservation, 20% of their profits from every koala polo or koala polo t-shirt will go to the Australian Koala Foundation to help bring koala numbers back up again.