Do not be misled by my appearance into thinking I am a type of bear. Although we koalas may resemble bears, we have been created with quite different characteristics. Our birth, diet, habitation and development bear no comparison with those of the bear. Do not misunderstand me. The assertions I make are not because I do not like bears. I was just pointing out that we have been granted various distinct attributes by the Creator. Although some of the abilities and habits of my species that I will describe may seem a bit uncommon, I am totally aware that these unusual abilities are a divine blessing bestowed upon us by our Creator to make our lives easier and more convenient.
The Creator of the universe, the eternal power of existence who has constant awareness of the activity of every cell in our bodies, has endowed us with many fascinating characteristics in the features of our diet and process of reproduction to enable us to live within the ecological stability and principles of adaptation in our natural environment. I will try to explain some of these features to the best of my ability to give you a brief but significant idea of our unique and amazing creation.
Unlike humans, for whom the total development of the fetus and organs takes around 280 days in the womb, we remain in our mother’s womb for a much shorter period. Following a 34–36 day pregnancy, we are born into the world around the size of a bean, blind and earless. As soon as our mothers give birth to us, we crawl by divine inspiration into a pouch created for our protection and development on our mother’s belly. This pouch is why you define both us and kangaroos among the animal kingdom as marsupials. If we did not climb into the pouch created for us to complete the process of our development, we would not be able to live for the first five months of our lives. We feed by sucking the taps of nourishment, the two teats found within the pouch, for the first five months of our lives without leaving this cozy place of security. After about five months hidden in the pouch, we gradually begin to stick our heads out to learn how to benefit from the other substances God has created for us in the universe. While the younger mothers of our species can give birth every year, the older females only give birth every two years or so.
After the first six months we obtain sustenance from our mothers which contains the bacteria and nutritional weaning supplement our digestive system requires to enable us to make the transition from our mother’s milk to the nutrient which becomes the main provision we depend on for the rest of our lives, eucalyptus leaves. In the eighth month of our lives we become a bit more active and sometimes leave our pouch and ride on our mother’s back but we climb back into our pouch at the first sign of danger. We begin to fend for ourselves and eat the eucalyptus leaves with no help from our mothers a year after our birth. We have our very own eucalyptus tree, sometimes even more than one, and we mark the tree by scratching it with our claws, a kind of signature that defines which of us lives in a certain tree.
It may seem unbelievable to you but we hardly drink any water. This is why our name is said to derive from a word of the Aboriginal language meaning “No drink.” This is mainly due to our diet because our need for water is provided by the eucalyptus leaves we eat, which contain 40–60% water, enough for our bodies. As well as this our digestive system and kidneys have been created with a structure that takes the maximum benefit from the water in eucalyptus leaves and wastes the least possible amount of water. The rate of our metabolism is quite low compared to that of other mammals. This is another factor which greatly reduces the loss of water from our bodies, so we do not have to constantly climb down from the trees we live in to find water.
Those who call us lazy because we sleep a lot, an average of twenty hours a day, unfortunately do not know very much about us. Sleep is necessary for us because fibrous eucalyptus leaves contain very little protein and very few other nutrients. This means they provide us with a low energy diet so we have to optimize our use of this energy. The Creator adapted us so that we sleep for 18–20 hours a day to save energy. So never compare us with those who have the ability or energy to be active but waste their valuable lives in unnecessary actions or idleness.
The high content of aromatic oils and various chemical components of cyanide found in eucalyptus leaves are extremely poisonous to many plant-eating animals but we are an exception. God created us with a unique digestive system because the main ingredient of plants, cellulose, is such a hard substance to digest that we have been created with a caecum, a section of intestine much longer (200cm) than that of other mammals, which acts as a chamber of fermentation. Here the high-cellulose eucalyptus leaves are easily broken down by bacteria and microorganisms living in our caecum, a process which then enables our digestion of the leaves. Some of the harmful oils and components (phenol compounds) in the leaves are refined by our liver, which works in an excellent manner, and then these oils are excreted from our body. The creation of our liver, which acts like a special laboratory that can even transform the most dangerous of poisons into harmless substances, has been referred to by evolutionists ludicrously as “a coincidence” or “unaware mutation.”
There are certain things that we must be wary of in our diet. Out of around six hundred different kinds of leaves we can only eat twenty of them, so from around nine kilos of leaves that we pick every day, we only eat one kilo of the least poisonous ones. We usually choose the fresher leaves, and we detect the amount of poison in each leaf by its odor. This is why our noses are one of the most sensitive organs of our bodies. Sometimes we eat earth to obtain the minerals lacking in our bodies. This sharpens our teeth at the same time.
God Almighty, who created even the smallest detail of the universe perfectly, also created our bodies to meet our every requirement. The All-Knowing Designer of the universe created us with arms and paws so we can easily climb up into the eucalyptus trees we use as our homes, our places of habitat. The soles of our paws that are covered in a thick skin, and our arms and legs, which are equipped with strong muscles, and our hook shaped claws enable us to grip onto the trunk and branches of the tree. We can even sleep while we are hanging from a branch. We have five claws on each of our front paws and two of these claws are placed like the thumbs on your hands. These claws enable us to grip and keep a hold on branches. The second and third claws on our hind paws are joined together to enable a stronger grip. We can grip with all four of our paws just like a human grasps with his or her hand and this helps us to walk up the branches and move around in the tree with great ease.
Our body temperature is perfectly adjusted for outdoor life, and our rainproof fur also protects us from the cold, heat and wind. Our fur changes and adapts every season in length and thickness according to our temperature requirements, Australia is situated in the southern hemisphere, so those of us who live in the south have been created with a longer more bristly fur than those in the north so we can cope with the harsh winter conditions. Our fur has patches of different colors on different parts of our bodies; the darker fur on our backs has been created to absorb and preserve heat while the fur on other parts of our bodies is relatively light in color.
To protect ourselves from strong winds we roll our ears up into a kind of ball and turn our backs, the most insulated part of our bodies towards the wind. The fur on our backs is as protective as that of the animals that live in the Arctic. If you see us curled up on a branch in the winter, don’t worry. Due to our incredible fur coat we are as warm and comfortable as you are in your homes.
Unfortunately, we have been subjected to the never-ending desires and ambitions of humankind. The dingoes, iguanas, and some of the eagles and owls that live in Australia do cause us harm from time to time but the massacre inflicted on us by humans in the nineteenth century was heartless and barbaric. Especially from about 1910 to the 1930s my ancestors were killed for our fur and around 80% of our main source of nutrition was destroyed by cutting down eucalyptus trees. In 1927 our species was subjected to the largest massacre ever. They say that over two and a half million of my brothers and sisters were barbarically killed then. It is reported that there are between two and eight thousand of us living today, and the drop in our population is mainly due to agriculture, urbanization and the destruction of the trees we depend on for our habit and nutrition. There has been a huge increase in deaths among us from contagious diseases and attacks by domestic animals like dogs. In recent years, all praise to our merciful Creator, by the great efforts of some foundations and organizations we have been placed under a conservation order.
This description of our exceptional organs, our behavior we are inspired to adopt, and the many blessings bestowed upon us must have explained to you and enlightened you about certain things. May the greetings of the Almighty, He who created us with a liver to enable us to cope with the poisonous leaves, who enables us to feed our offspring in the security of the pouch on our bellies, who created everything in the universe in total cooperation and harmony with each other, be upon you all…