Common myths about Port Stephens koalas

Koalas look cute and cuddly, but can become stressed if approached by humans.
Koalas look cute and cuddly, but can become stressed if approached by humans.


WILD Koala Day is here and with record growth in international tourism, all Australians should know koala facts from fiction.

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We are calling on Australians to protect koalas in the wild and Port Stephens Koalas (PSK) has provided some facts below to assist in that important endeavour.

Although koalas often look docile, they are not, of course, inebriated by their diet of eucalyptus leaves.

Koalas rest because they are mostly nocturnal and have a low nutrient diet.

Koalas do not eat only one type of gum-tree, although they do have personal favourites.

Surprisingly, koalas can run at up to 32km/h and leap up a tree in two metre bounds.

Healthy, wild koalas are not placid and will usually defend themselves if a human tries to touch them.

Scientific studies have shown koalas become stressed when humans approach within five metres.

As cute and cuddly as they appear, wild koalas do not love to be cuddled.

Koala numbers around Australia are declining in every state except South Australia.

There are five to six well-publicised populations of koalas in Victoria and South Australia that are over populated, but they are the exception, not the rule.

Koalas are not overpopulated, but they are in danger of extinction due to habitat loss, stress, disease, car hits, bushfires and dog attacks.

Julie Jennings from Port Stephens Koalas told News Of The Area, “Port Stephens Koalas aims to provide world best practice standards of care to sick, injured and orphaned koalas ensuring they receive the best opportunity to be returned to the wild, while supporting research and collaboration to preserve their habitat.”

If you would like to learn about wild koalas and Wild Koala Day, you can visit or

For more information and to support the work of PSK, visit or

By  Mandy ELLIS

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