Do you think a koala is a bear? Keep reading to find the answer!
Here's the truth: Despite some pop culture references to adorable “koala bears”, the species you can see all winter at Gumleaf Hideout is actually a marsupial, not a bear. Marsupials are mammals that have a pouch; think other Australian animals like kangaroos and wallabies. The misnomer can be traced back to early French settlers in Australia.
Another truth: Koalas are adapted to spend most of their life in trees – with large paws and sharp claws for quick climbing and two opposable thumbs on each front paw to grip branches. Koalas are very picky eaters, nibbling on only eucalyptus leaves and bark. This limited diet doesn’t provide them much energy, so they can often be found sleeping in the trees. They sleep for up to 18 hours a day!