Koalas  11/30/03 Thank you...  Rate this Image (398)   Random OverviewsSlideshowSite Map

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"The teddy-bear like Koala isn't a bear at all. It's a marsupial which means it has a pouch. The mother carries her tiny young in this protective pocket, where she nurses them until they are strong enough to face the rigors of the outside world.

The koala is a native of Australia and spends most of its time in the high branches of the Eucalyptus tree which offers safety from predators and also the major source of its diet - its leaves. The koala has strong, flexible arms and legs that allow it to climb easily and jump from branch to branch with agility. Its hand has five fingers, two of which are separated from the others much like two thumbs, giving it a good climbing grip.

The winsome koala, which was first discovered in Australia in 1798, came close to extinction in the early part of the 20th century when it was widely hunted for its fur. Through the vigorous initiative of the Australian government the animal is now protected but is facing a new threat to survival as a result of disease and devastating loss of its natural habitat."

The koalas can be found after a short walk to the right from inside the San Diego Zoo Entrance. For more information on the San Diego Zoo's conservation work world wide, visit their website at: http://www.sandiegozoo.org If you're ever in San Diego, give these cute guys a visit.