Australian Exhibit

Koala

The Australian Koala eats about 2.5 pounds of eucalyptus leaves a day. Babies eat about 1.5 pounds a day. Koalas have one baby about every two ears. Pregnancy takes 35 days. The cub stays in the pouch for six months, until it is old enough to get food on its own. The koala can grow to be as large as 33 inches and weigh up to 26 pounds. It have been mistaken for rabbits, prairie dogs, and rodents. In the wild, a koala can live to be 13 years old. In captivity, it can live about 16 to 20 years.

Platypus

My animal is the platypus. Its body is 15 inches long. Its tail is five inches long and its head and bill together are seven inches. It is called the duck-billed platypus because it has a bill like a duck. In my section of the Australian exhibit, I have a pond where the platypus can swim and get its food. I also have a bush where it can find insects. It eats worms, insects, and young shellfish. It weighs four and one-half pounds, and it is the only egg-laying mammal.

Dingo

My animal is the dingo dog. It has reddish and yellowish brown fur with white under parts, feet, and tail tip. The dingo is 1.2 meter (four feet) long. It stands about 60 cm at shoulder height, including its 30 cm (12 inch) bushy tail. It lives in an underground den or an abandoned borrow in the savannahs, plains, and woodlands of Australia. It eats zebras, birds, koalas, rabbits, kangaroos, rodents, and livestock. The dingo can have 6-16 pups in one litter. The pups are usually born in an underground den or an abandoned borrow. My part of the Australian exhibit covers everything the dingo needs: trees for shade, water for drinking, and covers 200 meters in enclosure space.

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Date Updated: January 18, 2001