SAVE THE KOALA DAY
Every year on the last Friday in September, Save the Koala Day raises awareness for the plight of the koala. It’s also a day to educate the public on the importance of conserving the koala’s natural habitat.
Even though it’s called a koala bear, the koala isn’t actually a bear. Instead, the koala is a marsupial. This means that the koala is a mammal that carries its young in a pouch. In the late 18th century, English-speaking settlers in Australia called the animal a bear. These settlers thought the koala looked and behaved like a bear. Since then, many people call these animals, koala bears. Australia provides the only natural habitat in the world for the koala. Known as tree-hugging mammals, koalas live in eucalyptus trees. They grow up to 3 feet tall and weigh anywhere from 9 to 30 pounds.
According to the Australian Koala Foundation (AKF), there are less than 100,000 koalas in the wild. Some believe this number is closer to 43,000 koalas. In 2012, the Australian government declared the koala as “vulnerable” in parts of Australia. The AKF feels the conservation status of the koala should be updated to “critically endangered.” Some reasons for the reduced number of koalas in Australia include bush fires, domestic dog attacks, and road accidents. One of the primary reasons for fewer koalas in the wild is the destruction of the eucalyptus forests.
HOW TO OBSERVE #SaveTheKoalaDay
The AKF and other koala conservation groups hold a variety of events on this day. Events include fundraisers, educational seminars, zoo exhibitions, and webinars. To participate:
- Donate to the Australian Koala Foundation or join the Adopt a Koala Program.
- Read The Koala Book by Ann Sharp to your children.
- Find places in the United States to see a koala, such as the San Diego Zoo, West Palm Beach Zoo in Florida, and Riverbanks Zoo & Barden in Columbia, South Carolina.
- Watch a movie or show that features koalas, such as Izzy’s Koala World or Back to the Outback.
Share your favorite picture or video of koalas on social media with #SaveTheKoalaDay.
SAVE THE KOALA DAY HISTORY
In 1986, two veterinary scientists established the Australian Koala Association. The name was later changed to the Australian Koala Foundation (AKF). On September 26th, 2008 the AKF held the first Save the Koala Day. Events for the special day were held at Dreamworld, a theme park, and zoo in Queensland. The AKF chose the last Friday in September as it coincided with Save the Koala Month.
30 September 2022
29 September 2023
27 September 2024
26 September 2025
25 September 2026
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29 September 2028
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27 September 2030
26 September 2031