Koala Life Cycle
The life cycle of the Koala is one which is very interesting. Some of them live a life in the wild that spans from 10 to 15 years. The females tend to live longer as they don’t engage in the battles like the males do with each other. Some of them only live for a few years though due to the environmental factors around them. In captivity, they life span can be up to 18 years with the right conditions.
What is fascinating about the young Koalas is that they are barely developed when they are born. They have no hair, no vision, and no ears at birth. They are only a couple of centimeters long. In spite of all that, they find their way by instinct from the birth canal to the pouch of the mother. Here they will find teats that they can latch on to for nutrition.
During the six months that the young Koalas live in that pouch they get the warm and the nutrition that they need to thrive. They grow larger day by day and develop thick hair, the ears develop, and they open up their eyes. When they are about six months old they will emerge to see the world around them for the first time.
For the next six months the young will ride mainly on the back of the mother. They will still return to the pouch of the mother though in order to sleep at times and to be safe. When they are with the mother outside of the pouch though they will begin to eat some of the regurgitated food that she consumes in addition to milk from her body.
The young males stay very close to their mother for about two-three years and then they will venture off to find their own territory. They have a harder time being accepted into a group. They often have to stay on the outer rim of it for several years before they are fully accepted. The males are less likely to let them in as they are competitors for the females to mate with.
There are four well known diseases that threaten a Koala life. The first is Chlamydia and it is one that can cause them to be sterile. As a result they can mate but no young offspring will be the result from such encounters. This microorganism can also cause blindness, pneumonia, or urinary tract infections for these animals. All of these conditions can make the quality of life very poor for a Koala.
There are two types of cancer well known to Koala populations as well. They include skin cancer and Leukemia. Experts believe that the survival of the fittest is part of the reason for this to all occur with the Koala. Those that are strong and healthy live longer than those that are weak and become ill. The strong are able to pass on their genetics for future generations.
However, the life cycle of a Koala can be cut drastically short due to many factors. For example when humans cut down the forests or huge brushfires occur. When roads are built in the forest then many of them are killed by collisions with vehicles as they move around at night.