Australia fires: Koalas - five facts you need to know

Last updated at 13:33
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These little tree-climbing creatures aren't bears at all!

The fires in Australia have affected huge numbers of wild animals.

One that has been in the news a lot, as rescue teams try to save as many wild animals as possible, is the koala.

Thousands of the furry creatures are being cared for in sanctuaries across Australia, after escaping the fires.

But what do we know about these little leaf-eaters? Let's take a look.

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WATCH: Kirsty from Edinburgh Zoo has some koala-ty facts about koalas!
1. They aren't bears
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Baby koalas are called joeys

That's right, often people call them koala bears but they're not actually a bear.

They are a marsupial which means they have a pouch.

Like kangaroos, koalas carry their babies in a pouch - for up to six months!

2: Koalas sleep - a LOT
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Koalas can sleep from 19-22 hours A DAY

Yes, a koala will sleep for a massive 22 hours a day!

Koalas need to sleep for between 18 and 22 hours because the things they eat, eucalyptus leaves, take lots of time and energy to digest.

They are usually tucked up fast asleep on the highest branches of a eucalyptus tree.

3: Koalas eat - a LOT
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Before a nice 22-hour nap, koalas will eat as many leaves as they can

Koalas will eat 1.13 kilograms of a leaves a day - that's as heavy as a bag of rice.

It's said that they eat so many eucalyptus leaves that their fur smells like eucalyptus.

They are herbivores - which means they don't eat meat or fish - just lots of leaves.

They hop from branch to branch using their claws to grab them.

Eucalyptus leaves are poisonous to most other animals, but not koalas! All the more for them to enjoy.

4: Koalas have no sweat glands
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Temperatures can hit up to 40 degrees in Australia, so these trees keep koalas nice and cool

That's right, koalas don't sweat.

Instead they stay cool by staying as high up in the trees as they can.

What better place to take an afternoon snooze?

5: Koalas are only native to Australia
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There are only two zoos in the United Kingdom which have koalas

There are some zoos around the world which have captive koalas, but they are only naturally found in Australia.

They live in woody, bushy areas high up in eucalyptus trees.

The koalas really make the most of the eucalyptus trees - using them to shelter, sleep in, and eat.

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