Along with the kangaroo they’re one of the most recognizeable Australian marsupials and folks line up at zoos for the chance to hold one in their arms and get their photos taken.
For an animal that sleeps 20 hours a day, that’s not a bad gig.
But one thing they leave out of the popular information brochures is that koala babies grow up eating shit. I was rather taken aback by this news, discovered last night on a Wild Australasia program on telly.
The reason behind it is because koalas mainly eat eucalyptus leaves, and these leaves are quite tough and toxic to most animals. Koalas have teeth and stomachs of iron. Of course, you don’t crawl out of mama’s pouch with all these attributes, so you need to take things in stages, kind of like a vaccination. That’s where the shit comes in. The baby eats poo to ingest some of the squiggly things that help break down gum leaves so when it gets older it’ll be able to handle its diet.
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It all makes perfect natural sense when it gets explained to you, but it’s difficult to get rid of the image of a scrawny baby koala shoving his face into its mum’s bum and looking up with crap all over his face.
Still wanna hold one?