10.27.19: Koala awake

A koala looks around during a rare moment awake in the Toledo Zoo, Toledo, Ohio.


Technical information

May 17, 2018, 
12:48 p.m.

41°37'9.395" N 83°34'54.15" W
(Show in Google Maps)

Canon EOS 7D Mark II

Canon EF 100-400 f/4-5.6L (190mm) 


1/1000th second


Whenever I see a koala in a zoo, it’s usually sleeping. I guess that’s to be expected. Koala’s sleep up to 20 hours a day, so seeing a sleeping koala is the most common way to see a koala.

But I got lucky during a visit to the Toledo Zoo.

The zoo’s koala was sleeping on a limb, using a tree trunk as a backrest and resting its paw on another trunk. As I shot a few photos, the koala opened its eyes while facing me. Then it closed its eyes again and resumed its nap.

But I had a photo of a somewhat alert koala.

Koalas spend much of their lives in Australia’s open eucalyptus woodlands. The eucalyptus leaves make up most of a koala’s diet. The leaves are low in both nutritional and caloric content, which results in the koala’s drowsy lifestyle.

The koala is somewhat common sight in Australia, so much so that I’ve seen “koala crossing” signs along roads through the Australian countryside to alert drivers to areas where koalas tend to cross the road.

Shotly after I saw my first “koala crossing” sign I saw a “kangaroo crossing” sign on the same road. I laughed, thinking it had to be signage in place for tourists visiting the area.

But my host set me straight.

“You have deer crossing signs in the states to help drivers avoid colliding with one of your deer,” he said. “Hitting a kangaroo can do the same amount of damage to your car as hitting a deer.”

Makes sense.

Each week I will post a photo from my collection with an explanation of how I got the shot. Previous photos of the week are in the archives.