ZooBorns contributor ysaleth got this great shot of San Diego Zoo's proud Koala Mom Orana giving a "bear" hug to joey Miah yesterday. Despite the powerful grip, Koalas are not bears. They are not placental or 'eutherian' mammals, but marsupials, which means that their young are born immature & they develop further in the safety of a pouch. It’s incorrect to call them ‘koala bears'. Their correct name is simply 'koalas'.
There is a myth that koalas sleep a lot because they ‘get drunk’ on gumleaves. Fortunately, this is not correct! Most of their time is spent sleeping because it requires a lot of energy to digest their toxic, fibrous, low-nutrition diet and sleeping is the best way to conserve energy.