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Koala Bears - Phascolarctos cinereus - Baby Koalas

Well, Koala Bears (Phascolarctos cinereus) are not even true bears, but how could we not write about them after discussing the two types of Panda Bears. Koala Bears are actually classified as marsupials, which are extremely far removed from true bears. Like the Giant Panda Bear, and the Red Panda, the imagery of a Koala hugging a tree, is often associated directly with wildlife conservation.


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Koala Bears
Picture: Family of Koala Bears
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Koala Bear
Baby Koala Picture
Baby Koala Bear

As with the Giant Panda Bear, the Australian Koala Bear has a very specialized diet. Instead of bamboo shoots, the Koala Bear only eats the leaves and bark from a very few species of Australian Eucalyptus Trees. Both David and myself are fortunate to have had the opportunity to interact with Koala Bears in the past. They are truly remarkable animals. One neat fact about the Koala that most people may not know; is that they actually smell like highly concentrated Eucalyptus oil. This is obviously due to their exclusive consumption of Eucalyptus leaves in their diet. This extreme concentration of Eucalyptus would be toxic to most animals, but nature always finds a way to adapt & overcome. This adapting to survive in ones environment can also be seen in the digestive tract of the Koala Bears gut. Koalas have a very long caecum, which helps the animal digest the high fiber, bulky eucalyptus leaves. These leaves would otherwise be both impossible to digest must less actually absorb any nutritional value, without this extra large caecum.

Due to the Koala Bears intense “Cuteness”, people often assume or have the impression that they are these super tame cuddly animals! This is extremely far from the truth! Koala’s although definitely “Cute”, can be intensely aggressive and cause serious damage with both their teeth and claws. So, if your ever walking in your back yard and happen to come across a Wild Koala Bear, do not try hugging and kissing it, as you could easily get hurt.

The Koala Bear in the wild typically breeds between the months of September and February depending on what side of the island they inhabit. The female Koala Bear’s “estrous cycle” lasts about 29 days. Assuming she conceives, the Koala Bear Gestation Cycle last only about 35 days. She typically gives birth to a single offspring, but twins periodically pop up here and there in both wild and captive animals. Like the Panda Bear, the Koala gives birth to an extremely small underdeveloped infant weighing less then 1 gram! Just for the ease of comprehension, the average United States Penny weighs about 1 gram. Being born underdeveloped with a very low birth weight is typical for marsupials and definitely helps explain the Koalas short gestation period. At birth, Koala Bear Babies look very similar to a large maggot and are hardly the picture of cuteness. However, as they mature, a Koala Baby quickly becomes one of the most endearing animals on earth to look at. We will add some Koala Bear Pictures for you to review and will try to include a few Koala Bear Baby shots as well.

Like many beautiful animals historically, the Koala Bear was almost pushed into extinction. It is estimated that in the early Nineteen Hundreds, that Koala populations were in the millions. Then the demand for their incredibly soft and warm fur coats quickly put them very close to extinction. In 1924, over 2 million Koala Bear Fur pelts were exported out of Australia. Thank g-d that the Australian government acted in time to stop the Koala Bear Fur industry before these animals went extinct. Today, both Australian and international laws and treaties legally protect these precious animals.

David and I hope you found this bit of Koala Bear information interesting and useful. We invite you all to visit the remarkable residents of the www.tigerhomes.org Sanctuary via our numerous WEB CAMS placed inside our naturalistic Tiger, Lion and Lemur habitats. We are constantly adding valuable new information to the site so please visit often and tell your friends! Don’t forget to sign up to be Member. It is free, fast and painless. Members are entitled to even more information and are even notified of special events and key times to watch the 30 + animal Web Cams! In the meantime, keep on watching and learning.

PS: Don't miss the article on the great Polar Bear !!!


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