Leaves, especially eucalyptus, make up the koala's diet.
Joey, not Teddy
Koalas are often called bears because they look a little like teddy bears, but they are actually marsupials. Like other marsupials, the female has a pouch where she carries her baby, called a joey, for several months after birth. 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.
Leaves for lunch
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 each only eats about 1.5 pounds of it. We give them a lot to choose from because they know what's best!
Help for koalas
While koalas currently aren’t listed as an endangered species, 80 percent of koala habitat has been lost to human homes and businesses, drought, and fires. That makes life hard for an animal that needs eucalyptus forests to survive, like koalas do. Koalas also are at risk when close to human populations, where they could be killed by cars or dogs. Many people are working together to protect koala habitat and help these cuddly looking creatures survive.