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About This Animal
- THE ROUGH, TOUGH TEDDY BEARS: Koalas look
cuddly, and Australians often call them "teddies", but they're rougher,
tougher, and stronger than they seem. For instance, koalas eat
the leaves of eucalyptus trees. But if there are too many koalas
in an area and they eat all the leaves, the trees will die. This
is when the rangers are called in to catch and move the koalas.
Sound easy? It isn't. First of all, rangers use a long pole
with a red flag attached. They hold the flag over a koala's head
and shake it a little. The flapping of the flag drives it nuts
and it starts backing down the tree. When a koala gets closer to
the ground, the rangers slip a noose around its body and tug the koala
from the tree with the rope. It takes about two or more rangers
to tackle the "teddy" and wrestle it into a cage. After that, the
animal is relocated. Does this sound like harsh treatment?
Not especially. Koalas have long claws, sharp teeth, and they're
not afraid to use them!