This is a short post about the koala. Make certain you read down to the end of the post for something very special to celebrate the 100,000th visitor to this blog. Thank you for all of the visits to my blog. I had no idea it would be such a success when I started it in 2012.
Koala - Phascolarctos cinereus
Above is a photo of Sapphire the koala. She was born in 2011 to...
Did you notice Suzie had a large area on her breast much whiter than Blinky? Female koalas tend to have a larger, whiter area than males. You can see this on Sapphire as well. Seeing a koala up in a tree, you can often tell if it's a boy or girl from the breast area.
Koalas can live up to 13 to 18 years in the wild. Both Suzie and Blinky passed on in 2012. This left Sapphire alone.
Would she be sad? Koalas in the wild are normally solitary, i.e. they live alone, and only mix socially about 15 minutes on average a day, except in breeding season (October to May). Because their diet of eucalyptus leaves is very poor in nutrition, they can spend around 20 hours a day sleeping. I don't think koalas would be sad in the way we might be when they have leaves to eat and a place to sleep.
It can take a human child 9 months to develop before being born but koalas only about 38 days before being born and making their way into the mothers' pouches. Once in the pouch, they continue growing and can spend 6 to 7 months before they are too big to stay in the pouch.
Along their life's journey in the pouch, when the koala joey is large enough it at first sticks its head out of the pouch. As Sapphire grew, she spent more and more time out of Suzie's pouch. I was there to record some of her life's journey.
Koalas in the Wild
Koalas in the wild are listed as vulnerable. That's one step from being endangered and means we must take steps to preserve them and help their numbers grow in the wild.
For koalas, one of the biggest dangers is habitat loss. As trees are cut down, groups of koalas can be isolated, known as fragmentation of habitat.
When their habitat is fragmented, they can face the dangers of crossing roads or attacks by dogs as they try moving from one treed area to another. They can walk along the ground but prefer to stay in the trees. Below is a short video clip of Sapphire walking put together from a series of photos.
And now for a 100,000th Visitor celebration...
Sanctuaries such as Potoroo Palace rescue injured koalas and also have breeding programs to help keep koalas for our future. There are groups who concentrate on care for animals in the wild and educating people about our wildlife and environment. One such group is known as Backyard Buddies.
Each year Backyard Buddies contact me about their current fundraising goals. When I received the phone call towards the end of 2014, they explained for 2014 their goal was to raise funds to help animals in the wild. To do this, they sell special buddies and so, supporting such groups when I can, I purchased one of their buddies. Because of the amount of white, I suspect my buddy is female but am too polite to ask.