Koalas in Cairns Tourist Attractions only get to cuddle humans three hours a day and only three days in a row before they get the rest of the week off. Cairns Australia is one of very few places in the world where you can get up this close and personal cuddling an Australian icon the Koala and have your photograph taken.
Research has shown that the majority of captive bred Koalas are quite comfortable being cuddled and having their photograph taken and show no detrimental signs with the human interaction. They just love having their photograph posted on all the tourists Face book pages.
Cairns Tropical Zoo and the Kuranda Koala Gardens are owned by a local family and they boast the largest colony of Koalas in Cairns Tropical North Queensland They were also instrumental along with other Australian wildlife establishments of researching and adhering to the Koala handling Code of Practice that has been ratified by the Queensland Government.
Did you know that Koalas are not actually Bears? They are Marsupials and carry their young in their pouch. Early settlers to Australia from the late 18th century thought they were due to their bear like features
Fast facts on Australian Koalas
These quiet little furry Koalas spend up to 19 hours per day every day sleeping and resting. This is due to the low protein and energy giving carbohydrate content in their natural diet of Australian gum leaves
An adult Koala requires approximately 700 grams of fresh foliage per day. Koalas have a special fibre digesting organ called caecum. The caecum contains millions of bacteria which break down the Australian gum leaves into substances which are easier to absorb.
Even with this specialised digestive system the Australian Koala Bear is still only able to absorb 25% of fibre eaten. Koalas can generally get enough water from their diet of young sweet leaves but they will drink on occasions.
Two long pointed lower front teeth biting against six sharp upper cutting teeth (incisors) allow Koalas to snip off leaves. Molars then grind the leaf to allow the enzymes in the Koalas saliva to begin the breakdown process
Do you know what a baby Koala is called? They are referred to as Joeys. These hairless, blind and earless babies remain hidden in the mother Koalas pouch for about six months and during this time they start growing all the cute Koala features that you see in adults. Female Koalas gestation period is around 35 days and they usually only have one baby a year for potentially 12 years of their life span.
Once the Joey is six months old and looks more like its mother it will then come out and explore the world by riding around on the mother Koalas back. It will live on the mother's milk and some tastings here and there from the mother's pap which is a teat in her pouch that the baby drinks from to build up the gut with the necessary microbes to digest eucalypt leaves.
So if you are coming to Australia or you are an Australian that has never cuddled one of our nations iconic animals then head on down to the Cairns Tropical Zoo and have your photograph taken cuddling these cute animals.
Where to Cuddle a koala in Cairns
Cairns Tropical Zoo is located in the Cairns Northern Beaches near Palm Cove on the Captain Cook Highway just 25 minutes drive north of Cairns city and is open every day from 8.30 am To 4.00 pm with the exception of Christmas Day
Cairns Tropical Zoo
- Departs From:
Cairns Tropical Zoo is open from 08:30 - 16:00
Cairns Night Zoo
- Departs From: Cairns, Port Douglas, Palm Cove, Kuranda, Cairns Beaches, Trinity Beach, Yorkeys Knob, Lake Placid,
Hours: 7:00pm - 10:00pm
Kuranda Tour Rainforestation - Nature Experience
- Departs From: Cairns & Northern Beaches
Cairns Zoom & Wildlife Dome
- Departs From: Cairns
Opening Hours 9am-8pm
Last admission: 6:00pm
The Wildlife Habitat
- Departs From: Cairns, Port Douglas, Cairns Beaches
Daily times not specified
Hartleys Crocodile Adventures
- Departs From:
Daily presentations and boat cruise