Cheeky koala eats thousands of seedlings on the way to the wildlife park

His stomach had to growl.

A hungry koala bear repeatedly snuck onto a farm in Australia to eat a total of $6,000 worth of seedlings specially bred for his species – and was only caught one night when he eventually overate and became too full to climb away.

“I noticed that some of my seedlings were being chewed off and I thought it was probably a possum,” said Humphrey Herington of Gundurimba Nursery in New South Wales

“Every night a few more and a few more came [missing].”

He soon caught the cuddly crook, nicknamed Claude for his sharp claws, in a feeding coma after one of his parties earlier in the summer, he said.

“We came into work one morning and Claude was sitting on a bench next to all these plants, just wrapped around a pole,” Herington said. “It seems like he got a lot of food that night, so I think he was too fed to climb his tree.”

Claude the koala has eaten $6,000 worth of seedlings on a farm in Australia.
Bangalow koalas

A worker at the farm snapped a photo of the prolific plant thief looking guiltily near a seedling bed earmarked for a “landcare group” that manages green spaces that help koalas thrive, he said. The animals were listed as endangered in the country in February 2022.

“I wrapped a towel around him, carried it to my neighbor’s paddock 200 or 300 yards from the nursery and had him run up a tree,” Herington said. “But a few days later he was back.”

The farmer has since built a koala-proof fence to permanently keep the mischievous marsupial out.

Trees were grown on the farm for a wildlife park.
Bangalow koalas
The wildlife park aims to help increase the koala population in the country.

“It’s basically just a netting fence with star posts and a wobbly spike on top. So if he tries to climb the fence, he’ll swing back out and hopefully stay out,” Herington said.

It’s the first time a koala has eaten his crop in two decades, he said.


JACLYN DIAZ is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. JACLYN DIAZ joined USTimeToday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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