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The Koala Blog

Koala cuteness, conservation and news from the front line.

What does a wet koala look like?

Charlotte enjoying a nap in the rain

By now you will all know what a koala looks like – large round head, big fluffy ears and a large black leathery looking nose, often patterned with pink pigmentation around the nostrils – remember the cute heart shape pattern? Koalas fur ranges from grey to brown, a white chest and if they’re a mature male they have a dark brown scent gland in the centre that they use to mark their territory.

Koalas further north (NSW and Queensland) have shorter fur than those in Southern Australia which is most likely due to weather conditions.

Strong arms and legs, hands and feet (not paws) with sharp claws and opposing thumbs – the perfect tools to dig deep into the bark of eucalyptus trees and fingerprints very similar to humans. A generous, cushioned rump, mottled white… koalas can be quite difficult to spot in trees as they are so well camouflaged.

Koalas have unique weather resistant fur
A wild koala is cooling down against the bark whilst also showing off those sharp claws

Humans find koalas appealing because they look so cute – the cuteness triggers an emotional response because of the their likeness to human babies and our innate desire to protect them.

Koalas have thick, fluffy, insulated fur most unlike other animals in Australia, it is wind and rain resistant and protects them from extremes of high and low temperatures. Koala fur is also oily which further helps to repel water.

Koalas curl up in a ball high in the tree tops
A perfect fur ball

And this is why many people have asked:

What does a wet koala look like?

Our recent wet weather has given us many good opportunities to show you what a wet koala looks like. Some don’t look overly impressed but nevertheless super cute. It has been hot and koalas do enjoy the rain during the heat. We even have specially installed sprinklers to help them cool off.

When it is hot and there is no rain in the Northern Rivers, we turn on our sprinklers and the koalas love it.

When the outer layer of koala fur gets wet in the rain, it dries off again quickly. Rain never reaches the inner layer of fur helping koalas to maintain their body temperature during extreme temperatures and also allowing them to stay in the tree tops – mostly curled up in a ball sleeping through the rain – their back-fur being the thickest.

When the weather is hotter, koalas regulate their temperature by lying against the cool trunks of trees and whilst koalas eat eucalyptus leaves they also provide shade in the rain and sun.

We think wet koalas look super cute – what about you cute or…?

Racquet enjoyed a nice shower in October 2022 in our Koala Care Centre
Remember Racquet?

Further reading if you enjoyed this post!

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