Koalas are often called bears because they look a little like teddy bears, but they are actually marsupials. Like other marsupials, the females have pouches where they carry their babies, called joeys, for several months after birthThe beginning of an animal's life.. When a joey is strong enough to cling to its mother's back, it leaves the pouch, but still sticks its head in to nurse.
Koalas are known as picky eaters. There are hundreds of different types of eucalyptus, but koalas only eat a few dozen kinds. And koalas won’t eat every leaf off of each branch. In fact, at the San Diego Zoo, we offer each koala 25 pounds of fresh eucalyptus each day, and they only eat about 1 ½ pounds of it. We give them a lot to choose from because they know what's best!
While koalas currently aren’t listed as a threatened speciesA government term denoting a species that seems likely to become endangered in the near future., 80% of koala habitatWhere an animal or plant normally lives and grows. has been lost to human homes and businesses, droughtAn extended time when little or no rain falls, causing a water shortage for plants and animals., and fires. That makes life hard for an animalAny living thing that is not a plant. Most animals can move about freely. All use plants or other animals as food. All have sensory organs. that needs eucalyptus forests to survive, like koalas do. Koalas also are at risk when close to human populations, being killed by cars or dogs. Many people are working together to protect koala habitatWhere an animal or plant normally lives and grows. and help these cuddly looking creatures survive.