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Healesville Sanctuary

Koala

Come face-to-face with one of our most iconic and beautiful Australian marsupials, the Koala, at Healesville Sanctuary.

Our Koala exhibits are set in stunning Australian bushland and the Sanctuary is renowned for its care of these unique native animals.

Koalas are found across the east of Australia, in coastal and inland areas from north-east Queensland to Eyre Peninsula in South Australia In Victoria, they inhabit  low altitude forests and woodlands across central and southern mainland Victoria, and on Raymond, Snake, French and Phillip islands.

With their lean, muscular body and strong limbs, Koalas are well suited to life in the trees. Their front and hind legs are almost equal in length, with five-digit paws specially adapted for grip. Rough pads on the palms and soles and long claws on each digit help the Koala grip tree branches and trunks. On each front paw, two fingers act like thumbs to enable a tighter grip.

Sadly, Australia may be at risk of losing large populations of our Koalas. The greatest threat to Koalas is loss of habitat, due to either agriculture or housing development. Since European settlement, about 80% of their habitat has disappeared, and little of the remaining 20% is protected. A disease called Chlamydia is also contributing to the Koala’s declining numbers. Koalas are categorised as "vulnerable" in relation to their population in Queensland, NSW and the ACT. In Victoria, their status is listed as "near threatened".

More Information

  • You can help Healesville Sanctuary care for our unique Australian wildlife by donating today!

Audrey

Adorable Audrey. The youngest and smallest Koala at Healesville Sanctuary, Audrey is yet to grow into her ear fluff. Audrey is a sweet little Koala and is learning about life outside of her display. While clinging onto Keeper Amie, Audrey often gets taken for walks around the Sanctuary. Audrey still has a lot of growing up to do and although she’s been eating lots of eucalyptus leaves since she arrived, she’s still only a very small ball of fluff.

 

Emily

Emily has been living at Healesville Sanctuary for five years and has become a favourite among the keepers. Emily is very confident in her surroundings and with people. She is known as 'the hugger' throughout the Sanctuary and has been known to chase after keepers demanding them to give her a hug! 

Hazel

Hazel is the Sanctuary's escape artist and is nicknamed 'Ninja'. Hazel is the offspring of Emily and Benni and is a very special Koala, this is because Hazel was the first female Koala bred at Healesville Sanctuary in a span of nine years. Hazel is often climbing the smallest of branches and perching herself in awkward places but most of the time she is snuggled up or sitting next to her mum Emily. 

Lyla

Lyla loves to follow fellow Koala Dora! She is nicknamed 'Light Lyla' which is a direct contrast to her mate 'Dark Dora'. The pair are inseparable and have been best friends since their arrival at Healesville Sanctuary. Lyla is a quirky Koala and spends a lot of her time on the ground, which is very unusual for Koalas who are most content in a tree, munching on eucalypts leaves. She is a bit of a rascal too and can often be found perched in awkward places or running along the ground. 

Dora

Dora is a very shy Koala and often sits in bushes and trees rather than in the preferred perches by the other Koalas. It’s not unusual for her to play a game of hide and seek with the keepers who often have trouble located her (she's usually curled up in the brush of a tree!) Although Dora is a shy and sweet Koala, she also has a rebellious streak to her and a slight dislike for echidnas! 

Marla

The oldest Koala, Marla is 17 years young. Marla was brought to Healesville Sanctuary from Kyabram at the young age of one. Since then she has been a very loving and maternal Koala, often babysitting and caring for the younger female Koalas. Marla is the biggest of our female Koalas and has the fluffiest coat, spending most of her days snuggled up in a tree and sleeping.

Noojee

Noojee is a rambunctious Koala, getting quite excited when the keepers come to visit or feed him. He has even been known to leap from tree to tree! Although underneath, Noojee is a big softie. As an orphan, he was rescued and cared for by the Sanctuary so Noojee has a surrogate mother - a teddy bear called 'Humphrey'. Noojee loves hanging onto Humphrey.

Benni

Benni is the father of Dindi and is the most dominant male at Healesville Sanctuary. While at the Sanctuary, Benni has had three joeys, more than any other male Koala at the Sanctuary! Most days, Benni is busy marking his scent around his exhibit, he’s also the most vocal of the males and is often heard 'chatting' with son Dindi who lives nearby.

Dindi

Dindi is named after the Aboriginal elder at Healesville Sanctuary Murrindindi. Dindi is four years old and is a very cheeky teenager. Dindi boasts an impressive vocal range and can be heard on most days making his low baritone rumbling call to attract any nearby females. 

 

Merri and mum

A Merri time at Healesville Sanctuary

Healesville Sanctuary’s newest arrival has been named. Koala joey has been named Merri thanks to Herald Sun reader, Angelina. 

8 August 2016
Koala

RACV member offer

The brand new Koala Forest has opened at Healesville Sanctuary and RACV members are invited to a special Koala offer.

1 July 2016
Koala MM

Close-up Encounters

Book a Close-up Encounter for an unforgettable close-up experience with one of our amazing Australian animals. Only $12 per person. Find out more ...

  • Koalas’ fur is different according to their habitat. It is longer and thicker in the south, where winters are colder
  • Koala vocalisation sounds like a combination of a loud snore and a burp, and is called a ‘bellow’
  • The brain of a Koala of average size weighs only 17 grams
  • Koalas are not bears! They are marsupials, and give birth to tiny, barely formed young who finish development outside the mother’s body, in a pouch
  • Koalas are mainly nocturnal. They spend about 18–20 hours sleeping because their metabolism is slow, an adaptation for handling a diet that is low in nutrition and hard to digest