When you think of Australia, you think of Koala. Living in eucalyptus trees, this Marsupial reminded arriving Europeans of a small Bear. However, Koala is not a relative of Bear; in fact her closest relative is Wombat.
Koala lives almost exclusively in the top branches of an eucalyptus tree. Her strong legs and sharp claws help Koala grip the tree trunk. When She is tired, Koala sleeps in a fork of a tree, and later feeds at night on the tree’s leaves.
Mother Koala has a very close relationship with her Baby. She carries her Baby (Joey) in a rear pouch, rather in the front, as is common among other Marsupials. Joey lives the first six months of her life in her mother’s pouch. For the next three months, She clings to her mother’s back. Mother Koala happily carries her Youngster until She is ready to be independent. Then Joey goes off to another tree that is close to her mother’s tree.
Koala teaches interdependence. Koala needs eucalyptus leaves to live. In return for their nourishment, Koala prunes the eucalyptus trees. Mother Koala and Joey learn to be interdependent. Mother Koala nurtures Baby Koala, and carries Her around. When Joey grows up, She remains close to her mother.
Important Koala Teaching: Holding On
“Koala, with a firm grip on life, always knows where he is going (even if he appears to be going slow) by the opportunities that he has been presented with.” Copyright: “Wisdom of Australian Animals”, Ann Williams-Fitzgerald.
“The Koala is a reminder that we are stronger than we imagined, and we will be able to hang on through whatever situation is occurring in our life.” Copyright: “Animal-Wise”, Ted Andrews.
Conservation Note: Koala is protected in Australia.
Koala Photo copyrighted by Heinz Huebscher, Visipix.com. Picture of "Koala" copyrighted by Mary Ann Sterling