Last year, 2016 – our house/pet sitting led us driving on roads to discovery unique events and wonderful people. We were travelling in the state of Victoria of which Melbourne is the capital. We had not expected this encounter and it happened as we approached the tiny town of Dadswell. This huge stone statue has been in existence for more than 30 years. It is one of Australia’s many “Big” statues of everyday items.
This is a picture of a restaurant and a Big Koala. This delightful creature is a huge tourist draw. Koalas are battling humans for space and food. A koala is limited to certain gum leaves and trees have been rapidly falling as new homes are built. When a gum tree is replaced by a home, koalas will often cross roads to where that gum tree grew. This makes them constant victims of cars. New homes often have dogs and these animals maul and kill koalas. Many humans feel responsible and will bring injured animals to nearby vets or Koala sanctuaries. The late Steve Irwin (Crocodile Hunter and owner of the Australia Zoo) spent his own money setting aside acres for koalas.
Here are some facts:
Koalas aren’t bears as many people are led to believe. They aren’t even related to bears.
The koala is related to the kangaroo and the wombat. The koala is a marsupial mammal.
The reason the koala is called a koala bear is because the koala looks like a teddy bear.
The koala’s scientific name is Phasclarctos Cinereus.
Now there are only 2,000 to 8,000 koalas in the wild! Although not officially classified as endangered, the population of Australian koalas has dropped by 90% in less than a decade. This is due to the destruction of the koala’s natural habitat, a narrow crescent on the eastern coast of Australia.
Logging, agriculture and urban development have not only reduced the area available to them, but added other dangers. The koala’s habitat has been criss crossed by roads,resulting in many road kills and attacks by pet dogs are frequent.
Disease, too, has taken its toll on the koala.
If you are interested in koala preservation, go on line and find organizations that sponsor and buy land for koalas. thank you, paula.