Animal Diaries Archive
Super Cooper's Singing Practice
30 December 2005Have you ever heard the noise that a male koala makes? A lot of our visitors get the shock of their lives when they hear it for the first time. It certainly isn't the type of noise that you would expect to come from such a cute and cuddly-looking little animal. Our visitors have lots of different ideas about what it sounds like; maybe a donkey, or perhaps a wild pig, or a frog croaking, or maybe even an old man snoring! (Now come on, I know some of our boys are getting old, but that's not very nice is it!).
The actual noise is a series of deep, throaty grunts mixed with a snoring like snorting. This call is used in the wild by male koalas to communicate with other males and claim their territory, or sometimes even to try and attract a female. The koala's call is very low-pitched and can travel for up to a kilometre through the bush. Here at the Zoo however, life is a little different from the Aussie bush.
We have animals from all over the world that have never come across an animal like a koala before. For example, just recently our Asian Elephants had a very interesting experience on the way to their morning feed. As they were walking past our Koala Walk-Through enclosure, they were greeted with a lovely, loud wake-up call from Cooper, one of our resident male koalas. Judging from the way the elephants were looking around, I'm sure they must have thought the noise came from an animal bigger than themselves! I guess when you think about it, they have never heard such a noise before and were a little confused; imagine an animal the size of an elephant being unsure of a koala! No wonder we call him 'Super Cooper'!
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