Animals: Vanishing Koala

Australia's aborigines thought that koalas were reincarnations of their dead babies, never dreamed of harming them. A cuddly, button-nosed little creature with furry ears and an affectionate disposition, the koala—along with such other Australian curiosities as wombats, wallaroos, kookaburras and the duck-billed platypus —thrived until white men came. When Chile's supply of chinchilla began to run low, hunters and trappers swarmed out through the Australian bush, slaughtered koalas by tens of thousands, shipped their hides off to the U. S. to be made into cheap fur coats or women's bags, belts...

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