Animal Diaries Archive
A leaf out of mum's book
29 September 2006
Throughout the animal world there are varying degrees of the parent/offspring relationship. Most young reptiles don’t know their parents and fend for themselves from birth. Many bird species share the duty of raising offspring between parents. With koalas, joeys learn everything - particularly what to eat - from their mum.
Koalas are solitary animals as a rule, and dad plays no part in the upbringing of the joeys. Here at Australia Zoo our devoted koala mothers teach their bubs where the best leaves are found on the sticks we provide. We always try to provide branches with new fresh growing tips on the ends and these are the juiciest, tastiest leaves on the sticks.
As mum climbs up or pulls these leaves within reach, her joey, often sitting on her back, is trying these leaves too. It is cute to see the little ones trying different leaves and even hard sticks sometimes before they get it right. It doesn’t take them long; koala mothers seem to be good teachers, unlike their partners.
So next time you visit the Zoo, try to catch our joeys during feeding time and check out their dinning etiquette. A mother koala is really her joey's best friend.
Our Amazing Koalas
Koalas vary in size and colour depending on where they live in Australia. Koalas found in the southern distributions (Southern NSW and Victoria) tend to be ...more