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Claude, the eucalyptus thief

10.09.2023 | 17:44 |
 Claude, the eucalyptus thief

A koala named Claude made headlines around the world after he was caught chewing saplings at an Australian eucalyptus nursery. The owner of the nursery told reporters that several months ago his employees began to observe the disappearance of plants. They initially suspected that escaped goats or local opossums might have been responsible for the theft.

However, the mysterious thief was exposed when the nursery owner discovered a koala sitting among the tattered branches, sleepy from well-fed bliss. The epic food euphoria into which the marsupial fell, having overeaten the leaves, did not allow it to budge and run away.

The nursery owner shared: “He looked very pleased with himself. Many plants were missing that morning. I think he must have eaten very heavily that day and was too tired to return to his tree.”

Claude was swaddled in a towel and carried to the trees about 300 meters from the nursery. However, just a couple of days later, the fearless animal ventured back again, and the team at the site is now busy building a fence to protect against “thieves”

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The nursery is used to grow plants that will later be used to increase the endangered koala population. Recipients of his seedlings include the World Wildlife Fund and local organization Bangalow Koalas, which aims to plant 500,000 trees by the end of 2025.

So Claude might have been allowed to have a lot more fun if he had a little more patience. The lovable criminal managed to destroy about $4,000 worth of eucalyptus seedlings before staff caught him.

The World Wildlife Fund published photographs of a koala named Claude and added in its message that in addition to the smiles and jokes that the animal caused, his behavior indicates that there really is not enough food for koalas in the local population.


Photo: WWF

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