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Koalas sent to Chiang Mai Zoo
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  1. #1
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    Koalas sent to Chiang Mai Zoo

    Just how much heat can a koala bear?
    The Nation, 19th June 2006

    Chiang Mai Zoo will soon be the first Thai zoo to house koalas as Australia is preparing to ship four of the marsupials here to mark the 60th anniversary of His Majesty the King's accession to the throne.

    The two male and two female koalas from Australia's Taronga Zoo already have proper accommodation and food awaiting them at their new home in Chiang Mai, said Rossu-khon Juikhamwong, head of the zoo's public relations department.

    "The government has provided Bt3 million to build a natural dwelling for the animals," she said, adding that air-conditioners would keep the temperature between 18 and 23 degrees Celsius.

    Koalas eat 200-500 grams of eucalyptus leaves a day. The leaves will be grown at the Queen Sirikit Botanical Gardens in Chiang Mai's Mae Rim district and two plant nurseries in Hod and Mae Teang districts.

    Chiang Mai Zoo has sent veterinarians to accompany the koalas, which are expected to arrive on July 5.

    Rossukhon said the koalas would need about two weeks to adjust to their new home, after which they would go on public display. The zoo will not charge visitors to see this new attraction initially.

    Koalas, which are native to Australia, weigh about 9 kilograms on average.

    "Koala" is an Aboriginal word meaning "no drink". The animals get water from their chief food, eucalyptus leaves.

    The koala is sometimes called "koala bear" although it is not part of the bear family but a marsupial like kangaroos and wombats. The trait distinguishing marsupials from other mammals is that they carry their young in pouches.

    Female koalas take two to three years to reach reproductive age while males take 3-4 years. A healthy female koala can bear one offspring yearly for 12 years.

  2. #2
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    Well koalas, live in all climates from the cool area's to the hot parts in northern Queensland, so the temperature in Chiang Mai, should not be a problem.

  3. #3
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    Yep, koalas are pretty adaptable. They are also not particularly social animals, except during breeding season, and that don't generally move around very much. So I expect the koalas at Chiang Mai zoo will be perfectly happy with their enclosure.

    The big problems at zoos are social animals being kept in isolation or inadequate sized groups and normally wide-ranging animals being given inadequate space. The prime example of both of those problems is elephants in just about every zoo in the world.

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