Are Koalas allowed and realistically viable as pets in the EU (Ireland)?

Many reasons speak for them as good pets:

  • they are cute.
  • they appear to be clean
  • they dont make noise
  • they are also cute. Who wouldnt want to hug one everyday?

2 Answers 2


The Australian Koala Foundation calls themselves "the principal non-profit, non-government organisation dedicated to the conservation and effective management of the wild koala and its habitat". They state:

No, it is not permitted anywhere in the world. It is illegal to have a Koala as a pet anywhere, even in Australia. The only people who are permitted to have a Koala in their possession besides suitably authorised zoos are, occasionally, scientists, and the people who are taking care of sick or injured Koalas or orphaned joeys. These people must have a special permit from wildlife authorities to do this work and the carers must return the animals to the wild as soon as they are well enough or, in the case of joeys, old enough, to take care of themselves. Because of Koalas’ unique physiological and dietary needs, it is a specialised job to take care of them and requires training from people who have experience in doing it. Koalas are wild animals. Don’t you think they are better off in the wild eucalyptus forests that are their natural home?


No, koalas are not good pets.

  1. Koalas can be aggressive. They have very long, sharp, and strong claws for climbing trees, and can bite. Koalas can do enough damage to send you to the hospital. (Warning for graphic images of koala inflicted injury. I'm not joking, it's pretty gruesome.) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2862089/Looks-deceiving-South-Australian-woman-finds-cuddly-koala-turn-nasty-annoy-enough.html
  2. Koalas can sleep for twenty two hours a day. Not a very interesting pet if it's always asleep. They're also nocturnal.
  3. Koalas have a very particular diet of only a few species of eucalyptus trees. Have fun trying to figure out how to feed it.
  4. Koalas spend their days climbing trees. It'd probably be impossible to make them an appropriate enclosure inside a private home.
  5. Koalas are known for carrying chlamydia. No, really. It's a different strain from the human version, but you can still catch it if you're exposed to an infected koala' s urine. http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20160211-half-of-australias-koalas-now-have-chlamydia
  6. Koalas are raised by eating their mother's special excrement known as pap. Do you still think they are clean animals now? https://www.savethekoala.com/about-koalas/life-cycle-koala
  7. Koalas, I believe, are like many other tree dwelling animals in that they do not leave the tree to eliminate. Look out below! http://www.ign.com/boards/threads/do-koalas-poop-while-dangling-from-the-tree-or-do-they-come-down-and-dig-a-hole.454917266/
  8. Koalas have very small, primitive brains for a mammal of their size, from Wikipedia: "The koala has one of the smallest brains in proportion to body weight of any mammal, being 60% smaller than that of a typical diprotodont, weighing only 19.2 g (0.68 oz). ... The koala's small brain size may be an adaptation to the energy restrictions imposed by its diet, which is insufficient to sustain a larger brain.". Their brains are also smooth unlike the traditional wrinkled brain you normally think of, another indication they aren't exactly the brightest animals. I expect that would not make them easy to train.
  9. Koalas do make noise. Imagine waking up to this at night: https://youtu.be/ynSiIFxV1KE

On top of all these numerous things that make them undesirable as pets, there is also the fact that is by my understanding illegal to keep them as a pet, and Australia heavily controls their export.


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