The koala is regarded as the epitome cuddliness. However, animal lovers will be saddened to hear that this lovable marsupial has been moved to the endangered species list. The Australian Koala Foundation estimates there are somewhere 43,000-100,000 koalas left the wild. Their numbers have been dwindling rapidly due to disease, loss habitat, bushfires, being hit cars, and other threats. Stuart Blanch the World Wildlife Fund in Australia said: "Koalas have gone from no listing to vulnerable to endangered a decade. That is a shockingly fast decline." He added that koalas risk "sliding extinction" unless there are "stronger laws...to protect their forest homes".
The koala has huge cultural significance Australia. Wikipedia writes: "The koala is well known worldwide and is a major draw Australian zoos and wildlife parks. It has been featured advertisements, games, cartoons, and as soft toys. It benefited the national tourism industry over an estimated billion Australian dollars in 1998, a figure that has since grown." Despite this, efforts to protect the koala have been failing. Australia's Environment Minister Sussan Ley said there have been "many pressures the koala," and that it is "vulnerable to climate change and to disease". She said the 2019-2020 bushfires, which killed least 6,400 of the animals, were "a tipping point".