Petting a Koala for the First Time

I went down to the Fremantle Market, which had a petting zoo! By petting zoo, I mean one koala and one snake as a temporary attraction in the market that weekend. Despite five people constantly touching it at any given moment, the koala managed to slightly lift its head up, and then went back to sleep.

Koala!

Koalas are herbivorous marsupials typically found in the Eastern and Southern coastal regions of Australia. Although, with the rise in urbanization and agriculture, their forested homelands are heavily threatened and diminishing at an alarming rate.

Having eucalyptus leaves as their main diet, which contain very little nutritious content, koalas can sleep up to 20 hours in a day—leading to this picture below. Koalas do not drink much water, and get most of their needed moisture from these leaves.

Sleeping koala

Koalas in the northern regions are typically smaller to their southern counterparts. Males are typically about 50% larger than females, and can be identified with a curvier nose and chest glands—seen as hairless patches.

As marsupials, female koalas give birth to underdeveloped young—called a joey—which then crawls into their mother’s pouch to be carried around for six to seven months. When the joey emerges, it then rides on its mother’s back or cling to her belly, but still returns to the pouch to nurse. After about a year, the young koala is able to eat eucalyptus leaves instead of relying on its mother’s pap.

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