The Koala - Preserving A National Treasure
Who doesn’t love a koala? They’re beautiful, mostly docile and very, very cuddly. I’d say the koala bear is up there with the panda or baby gorilla on the cuteness scale.
What determines cuteness, I suspect, is related very much to what we perceive as human qualities and appearance in these most beautiful animals.
Are Koalas Dangerous?
Unlike the koala, there is virtually no chance of you or I seeing a panda in the wild. They are way too reclusive to allow such a meeting.
What’s more, even in a zoo or captive breeding program, you wouldn’t want to get to close to a panda.
A basic search on Google or YouTube will testify to just how dangerous such an encounter could be. Needless to say I like my testicles just where they are, thank you very much.
The Koala In The Face Of Great Danger
I made the photo of the koala near Cape Otway in south eastern Australia.
It’s a lovely, though often windy part of the country with lots of eucalyptus trees including the ones which leaves constitute the diet of the koala.
In some parts of the country a loss of habitat has caused koalas to starve and die. Bushfires can also have a disastrous effect on koala populations.
The Need To Balance Our Wants And Desires
However, around Cape Otway the problem actually reversed. An abundance of food resulted in a dramatic increase in koala population, which tourists loved.
Unfortunately, the koalas depleted the local food supply to an event that they faced starvation. This fact was evidenced in large areas of denuded trees and supported in this article from ABC news online.
More recent news reports have suggested that, with a more sustainable koala population in the Cape Otway region, the trees are now making a slow, but steady come back.
The balance between the natural and man-made world will underpin our survival into the future.
Likewise the balance between the wants and desires of each of us, as tourists, and the laws that underpin the natural world are a fascinating and politically sensitive issue.
Given the choice I’d vote to support koala preservation.