When it comes to an overload of cuteness and cuddliness, koalas, which are mostly found in Australia, will never be out of the list. Even if they reach adulthood, they retain their cute and cuddly features all throughout their lives. But don’t get yourself too attached to them to the point that you want to own one. Unfortunately, the Australian government does not allow anyone to make koalas as domesticated pets. They are wild animals that are better off in their natural habitat surrounded by eucalyptus trees.
“It is illegal to have a Koala as a pet anywhere, even in Australia,” as stated in the Australian Koala Foundation (AKF). “The only people who are permitted to have a Koala in their possession, besides suitably authorised zoos, are, occasionally, scientists, and the people who are taking care of sick or injured Koalas or orphaned joeys.”
Before the authorized people can get the koalas, they must obtain a special permit from the wildlife authorities for their work and related studies. Meanwhile, for those who volunteer to take care of injured or sick koalas, they are required to return the animals to their natural environment as soon as they have fully recovered. In the case of orphaned young koalas, adoptive parents should also do the same thing once the joeys have matured and are able to live on their own.
Average Cost of Koalas
Apparently, The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species does not consider koalas bears as endangered species. However, AKF’s research has found out that the population of koalas in Australia is dwindling at a faster rate, making the animals at risk of getting extinct.
“In contrast to the millions of Koalas which were thought to be present at the time of European settlement, the AKF believes that there could be less than 80,000 remaining today, possibly as few as 43,000,” as stated by AFK.
Whether the koalas are endangered species or not, it is made clear that no one is allowed to keep a koala inside a private residence, which also implies the illegality of selling these Australian-native marsupials. But how much is a koala bear cost if an authorized zoo or wildlife park were to get this type of animal? Based on an answer posted in Juliusbergh.com, the cost to buy a koala bear will run from $3,000 to $5,000 each.
If for instance, the facilities are in other countries, then it takes a lot of convincing power to persuade the Australian authorities to send the koalas to international zoos and other animal facilities. The most important requirement is having more than enough supply of eucalyptus since these creatures won’t eat anything else but the particular plant.
The problem is that the maintenance of koalas is costly. In fact, a zoo in Osaka, Japan took care of six koalas, but they were their diet was too expensive, spending about AU$1.4 million per year.
But why do you have to spend so much in wanting to own a koala when you can actually spend less through adoptions? Yes, you can become an adoptive parent of a koala, or you can adopt it for someone dear to you. How?
You only need to process the adoption through Australian Koala Foundation’s Adopt A Koala Program. You just have to fill in the necessary form online to complete and formalize the whole process. But the catch is, you can’t take the furball home with you. It stays in the facility where it receives proper care and attention.
Although the regulations still prevent you from owning one, you do have the privilege to visit your adopted koala at the facility. All you have to is give a certain monthly contribution via your credit card. The money will be used to keep the koalas healthy and safe in the wild. You will also receive an adoption kit containing the following:
– a personalized certificate with a photo of your very own adopted koala;
– a welcome letter;
– koala stickers, and a whole lot more.
*Do take note that the adoption fees do not include the park admission fees.
Currently, the program provides for categories to choose from: Joeys, Adults, Wild, as well as Mum & Joeys. Let’s get to know each group.
The monthly contribution is AU$30. There are five joeys you can choose for adoption, and they are:
1. Aria located at Featherdale Wildlife Park in Sydney, New South Wales
2. Gracie, Harvey, Rodger, and Lilly – all four joeys located at Ballarat Wildlife Park in Ballarat, Victoria City
The monthly contribution is AU$30. There are 49 adults to choose from, living at seven facilities.
1. 15 koalas at Dreamworld in Gold Coast, Queensland City
2. 12 koalas at Ballarat Wildlife Park in Ballarat, Victoria City
3. 9 koalas at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane, Queensland City
4. 7 koalas at Featherdale Wildlife Park in Sydney, New South Wales
5. 3 koalas at Wildlife HQ in Sunshine Coast, Queensland
6. 2 koalas at The Maze in Perth, Western Australian
7. 1 koala at Paradise Country in Gold Coast, Queensland City
These koalas live freely in the Australian Bush. The monthly contribution is also AU$30. There are three of them: Wattle, Waratah & Twig.
MUM & JOEYS
Since these koalas come in pairs, the monthly contribution is AU$50.
1. Button & Joey at Dreamworld in Gold Coast
2. Zap & Cordelia at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane
3. Pepper & Orana at Paradise Country in Gold Coast
Koala Bear or just Koala?
This would be a bit awkward. A lot of us may have identified or called these creatures as koala bears, but actually, it’s not proper to call them as such. According to AFK, koalas are not related to bears. They are typically marsupials, which is a different animal group. With that said, they should only be called as koalas, not koala bears.
“When Europeans first came to Australia, they thought that Koalas looked like bears and in fact that they were bears so they were often called ‘Koala bears’,” AFK said. “Koalas are not bears – they are marsupials and their correct name is ‘Koalas’.”