Australia Rescues Its Koalas

koala australia brushfire
Paul Crock / AFP / Getty

Cute, But...
Despite appearances, koalas are not actually very cuddly. Yes, any mammal with big fluffy ears that sleeps for 18 hours a day in the crook of a tree and keeps its young in a pouch seems impossibly cute. But koalas have sharp teeth for chewing through tough eucalyptus leaves, two opposable thumbs and three other digits, all equipped with the kind of claws that can pierce the trunk of trees and then support their 20-lb bulk as they climb. And they're willing to use them on you if you get close. Plus, they're smelly. And none too smart. Most Australians know this and approach them gingerly, if at all.

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