Sunset is the best time to see koalas. In summer, sunset is time for the mating ritual to begin!
Koalas have a complex social life, with a lot of ritualised interaction. When a female koala becomes ready to mate she goes to the home range of the male of her choice. She waits in a tree for him to find her. Read how she chooses her mate here.
When he does, he climbs the tree but stays lower than her. As sunset approaches, he climbs towards her, carefully.
Even when she is visibly excited and ready to mate – watch female Mara smacking her lips in this incredible video – often she will resist this first attempt. She will fight him – biting, scratching and yelling. Its part of the ritual.
As you can see in the video, the male gives up quite easily at this point. This male – Winberry – is a dominant male with many years experience. He has been part of the sunset koala ritual many, many times.
Successful mating occurred, probably later that night. Mara became pregnant and we met her beautiful joey Bo seven months later. Read about koala joeys and the duration of koala pregnancies here.
Sunset in summer is the best time to see koalas in the wild.
Join us on our new Sunset Koalas & Kangaroos IN THE WILD. Departs every Monday from Melbourne, November to February.