Following several articles on scary animals, it's time for a cute one, the Australian native Koala Bear! The koala is found in coastal areas of the Australian mainland's eastern and southern regions, inhabiting Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. It is easily recognisable by its stout, tailless body, round, fluffy ears and large, spoon-shaped nose. The koala has a body length of 60–85 cm and weighs 4–15 kg. Koalas from the northern populations are typically smaller and lighter in colour and some scientists argue that they are a different species, but this is yet to be proven.
These cute little cuddly bears live mainly in Eucalypt woodlands and eat mainly Eucalyptus leaves. The lack of energy in this diet makes them very lazy animals and they sleep for up to 20 hours a day! The teddy bear at bedtime is based somewhat on the koala and certainly sleeps as much! Similarly to sloths, these animals do virtually nothing all day but eat and sleep and they are also asocial, meaning they do not live in packs or socialise with other animals, even other koalas; except their mothers when they are young. Koalas were hunted in the 1800s but this is no longer the case and they are not an endangered species, but there are less of them than many other animals and they are native only to Australia and nowhere else in the world. The biggest threat to them is actually deforestation. The name Koala is mistakenly translated as meaning doesn't drink because the animals get enough water from the leaves they eat. They are also not bears but were referred to as monkey bears, tree bears and Koala bears by early settlers in Australia because of their facial resemblance and similar fur. They are of course much smaller than a great grizzly or polar bear however, Koalas do walk on all fours on the ground, but mainly live in trees as it is easier to forage for food and safer from predators on the ground.