Often accused of suffering from narcolepsy, Koa is a koala who knows how to sleep. He sleeps deep and he sleeps often. When not sleeping Koa can be found eating gum leaves or pondering his apparently amazing dreams.
Koa has taken the mantra 'relax' and made it into an art form.
There has been much speculation about what it is that Koa is good for. Sleeping and eating are the starting point for most others but it seems to be an end point for Koa. He slept through his childhood, his schooling years were a travesty and there are rumours that he even fell asleep during a job interview. It was apparently decided that in spite of his tree knowledge and climbing ability there might be a better candidate for the job which had something to do with fire fighting.
In spite of the sleepiness and eucalyptus breath (yerch) Koa is on the whole a very happy and amiable young koala. He is also recognised as the best hugger in the whole state. If you are in need of a good long comforting hug then Koa is your man. This combined with his outrageous cuteness has led some to name him Bunyip Trees most eligible bachelor.
Video courtesy of Symbio Zoo
Koalas are short and stocky animals with dense, woolly fur which is light grey in the northern part of the range and brownish-grey in the south. The underside is white, while the large flat nose is black. Northern animals are also much smaller than their Victorian equivalents, males of which may reach over 80cm in length and weigh 14kg. Koalas have very sharp claws, which are excellent for climbing and can be used in defense.
Habitat: Because of their limited diet, the koala is only found in the eucalypt forests of eastern Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, as well as the far southeastern part of South Australia. They move around regularly, travelling between favourite food trees. They do not make any type of nest or shelter.
Diet: Koalas have an exclusive diet of eucalyptus leaves and their digestive tract is specifically designed to cope not only with the low nutrition-high fibre characteristics of the foliage but also the toxic compounds that are contained in the leaves. They do not eat all eucalypt species. Of the many hundreds of species, koalas only eat around 40 on a regular basis and in any given area usually three or four species comprise the bulk of the diet.
Breeding: Most koala matings occur between the months of October and January. After a gestation period of around 35 days, the jelly bean-sized baby climbs up into the mother’s backward-facing pouch and attaches to a teat. The joeys stay in their mother’s pouch for about six months, then the baby climbs onto their mothers back for a further six months gradually learning to eat their leafy diet. They reach sexual maturity at the age of three or four years and live for 16-18years in captivity.
Behaviour: Koalas are mainly nocturnal animals that spend the day asleep in the fork of the tree. They are solitary animals and will aggressively protect their individual territories. Fights can be extremely violent with opponents vigorously scratching and biting each other.
Learn more about Koalas at: The Australian Reptile Park