Koalas are possibly our most iconic native animals; instantly recognisable worldwide as a symbol of Australia and found nowhere else. Sadly, their dramatic and continuing decline is perhaps just as symbolic.
A Koala indulging in its favourite activity: sleeping. Photo Steve Parish.
Perched high in gum trees, with their stocky, tailless body, large heads and fluffy ears, Koalas live almost entirely on eucalyptus leaves, which are tough to digest. As a result they’ve developed a very slow metabolism to save energy – in fact they can sleep for up to 20 hours a day!
Often referred to as ‘bears’, Koalas are actually tree-dwelling marsupials (pouched mammals) and the only surviving members of the Phascolarctidae (Greek for ‘pouched bear’) family, whose closest living relatives are the wombats.
SIZE: H7cm x L7cm