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".