Thursday, April 29, 2010

Gregory's Koala Report

Taken at the Koala Hospital at Port Macquarie, New South Wales

Gregory wrote this over the holidays back in North Carolina, prior to our departure for New Zealand and Australia.

Koala by Gregory

A koala is a marsupial just like the kangaroo. Marsupials have pouches. When the baby is born it is a small embryo. It climbs up the mother into the pouch where it grows until it is strong.

Koalas are very calm. They are not fierce. They are prone to diseases and can get runny noses and colds just like people. They can sleep up to 18 hours a day. That means they only have six hours to be awake. They only eat eucalyptus leaves.

Koalas eat only three-dozen kinds out of the 700 varieties of eucalyptus that grow in Australia. The kind they eat depends on where they live. They usually eat only a couple of types. They can eat up to two pounds of leaves a day. That is a lot for a little animal. Koalas do not often drink water. They get it from the leaves they eat. Koala in Aborigine language means “no drink.”

Koalas spend most of their time in trees. The big problem is that people are cutting down eucalyptus trees so they can build houses and roads and this is endangering the koalas. Koalas live in Queensland and Victoria, the eastern part of Australia. Their habitat ranges from wetlands to dry plains.

A male koala can grow up to 30.7 inches and a female can grow up to 28 inches. Their fur is thicker on their back than on their tummy. The koala has white fluffy ears, a white chest and a very leathery nose. People think the koala is a bear but it is not, it is a marsupial.

(Note from Dorrie: The Koala Hospital in Port Macquarie is in the state of New South Wales so obviously the koalas live there as well!)

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