Many people love the cute koala bear. This animal has been made into stuffed toys all over the world. But it is rare to see this creature alive and moving, because it's gradually becoming extinct. The koala, like the kangaroo, is actually a marsupial. It contains a small pouch for its young, like the kangaroo. For this reason, the koala is not related to true bears. In appearance, it is a combination o f a monkey and a kangaroo. Koalas are native to Australia and they are now chiefly found in New South W ales and Queensland. They are highly protected animals, because their number has greatly diminished in the last ten years.
The koala has been hunted since the middle of this century for fur and food, which has moved it from its normal habitats. Today, anyone found harming a koala is severely punished by the law. Koalas get their endearing appearance from a covering o f gray fur and little tufts of white hair on the sides o f their faces. Their eyes are small and black, set in their head. They have large ears and curved noses, but no tail. They use their arms and paw s to climb through the Koalas have interesting living habits. They are nocturnal, which means that they move around chiefly at night. Koalas do not stay on the ground. They move from tree to tree, carefully lowering and raising them selves by their paws. Koalas eat only the leaves o f the eucalyptus, which is another reason that, they are n ow becoming extinct.
The eucalyptus tree is disappearing, thus the koalas are fighting a battle against extinction on their own. Koalas have a surprisingly long life span, which can range from 9 to 20 years, in rare cases. The koala’s worst enemy., besides hunters, is fire. W hen a tree is inflamed, often they cannot run fast enough to save themselves. Baby koalas are in danger around certain kinds o f lizards and eagles, although they are protected today by natural habitats set up for them. It is interesting to note that many koalas die from being hit by cars and some are even attacked by dogs!