Jordan Whitt from Unsplash
“You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more passionate group of people fighting for rights of koalas,” reads the inside of a cereal box. This is not just any kind of cereal box — the inside contains some pretty interesting gems.
The cereal is called Chocolate Koala Crisp by the company Nature’s Path Envirokidz Organic. On the inside it contains information to back their slogan “Together We’re Saving Koalas— One breakfast at a time!” The Australian Koala Foundation, a non-profit and non-government organization, thrives to manage and conserve the Koalas’ habitat.
Koalas are not actually bears, but marsupials. Kind of like kangaroos — mammals with pouches. These koalas can’t just strut into Red Robin and order a burger with a side of fries. Their schedule is already filled with 20 hours of daily napping, and their herbivore diets depend mainly on Eucalyptus trees. Koalas grow to be as big as an average human toddler, but as babies (known as a joey), they are the size of a jelly bean.
The lives of these cute creatures are threatened by road accidents, bushfires, dog attacks, and habitat loss.
“Since European settlement, approximately 80% of Koala habitat has been decimated. Of the remaining 20% almost none is protected and most occurs on privately-owned land,” said the Australian Koala Foundation. Koalas can start to have feelings of fear and depression when their homes and only suitable food source is plowed over for urban neighborhoods and other man made buildings. The remaining koalas will then have to travel by crossing roads being used by non-observant humans, and walk through yards of dogs who will run after squirrels and rabbits. Why not add koalas to the mix?
Koalas need a specific terrain full of fertile soil that can provide enough rainfall and Eucalyptus trees for their social communities to bloom. Like humans, koalas have societies and communities that benefit their social and mental health. For this reason there needs to be a larger amount of specific land for these koala societies to be supported.
The Australian Koala Foundation has a way for people to help. There is a way to Adopt-a-Koala using their website. People who are interested can scroll through a list of different koala profiles and even take a fun personality to get matched with their perfect Koala. I took the quiz and found out that my new BFF is Mirri. She is a cuddly koala with a kind heart and a tomboy-like playful spirit. If you don’t want to adopt, there are options to donate to the cause or plant some more trees for the koalas.
After unpacking this cereal box, I found a whole new koala-y world that we need to save.