Koalas are sometimes called “koala bears.”Â Maybe because they look like bears but they are not bears; they are marsupials, though they have soft thick fur like bears. They can live as long as 17 years, yet many do not do to being hit by cars or attacked by dogs.Â And their natural habitat is being destroyed, eliminated or criss-crossed by roads causing their death toll to rise into the thousands a year.Â They are soon to be put on the endangered species list. Logging and agriculture has added to a depletion of their habitat.Â Once, over a century ago they were almost extinct because so many people wanted their fur. Now, tragically, they are threatened by man again.
The koala lives in eucalyptus forests in Eastern and Southeastern Australia. They survive solely on eucalyptus leaves, bark, mistletoe, box leaves and tea tree leaves.Â Koalas breed once a year and gestation is only 35 days. However, after a koala cub is born they climb into their mother’s pouch, attach to a teat and stay there for about six months.Â They have no natural enemies other than man. They love to move around just after sunset.Â Prior to which they spend the day sleeping in the fork of a tree.