How Much Does a Koala Bear Cost?

Last Updated on April 4, 2023
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

As you might already know, the time when Teddy Bears monopolized the already stuffed toy market is long gone. Now, plenty of animals made it to the favorite list when it comes to these furry and fluffy toys for any age. Particularly the koala, or widely described as a “Koala Bear”.

And considering that hugging, or even touching a real koala is almost impossible, getting a stuffed koala toy and cuddling it will be the closest experience to owning a real one for most people. But let’s go over the cost of getting a koala bear if you’re set on owning a real specimen.

But first off, did you know that the koala, even though it is called a bear, isn’t actually a real bear? They really aren’t related either. Koala is related to wombats, wallabies, and kangaroos, being a marsupial. But considering that most people know them as koala bears, this is what we’ll call them all throughout the article.

You will find Koalas mostly in Australia. They are on the list of strictly protected animals are they are considered endangered. This makes it almost impossible for people to own one through legal and accessible channels. And not just because it will be very expensive to buy this type of animal, but also because most states won’t even allow you to keep one at home. This means that before you will find out the cost of a koala bear, you should know whether you can keep it as a pet or not.

How Much Does a Koala Bear Cost?

The average koala bear cost is somewhere between $3,000 and $8,000, depending on several very important factors like its exact species, its age, and where you get it from.

What’s interesting about Koala bears, is that, unlike most animals, it will be more expensive to buy a grown one than a baby Koala. This is mostly because babies don’t have enough experience or training to live around people as well as having fewer vaccines and medication taken.

Even in Australia, where koalas have their natural habitat, owning a koala bear or keeping one as a domesticated pet is illegal. You will only be approved to keep one if you are willing to adopt a sick or injured specimen, if you’re a scientist working on koala-related projects, or if you operate an authorized zoo or conservation group that meets the necessary requirements for keeping similar creatures. If you’re in none of these categories, then you should someplace else, as Australia will not be an accessible source for a pet like this.

So although it is practically impossible for normal people to own koalas, there are some instances in which people have managed to either adopt injured specimens or acquire one from the black market. Buying a koala bear from the black market isn’t something we recommend, as it only encourages these types of deals and puts the life of other specimens in danger in the future.

As for adopting one, Australia will allow you to adopt a koala or joey that is either ill or hurt. This still comes with a regular monthly contribution fee that can vary between $50 and $100. You do have to know that even this adoption has an expiration date as you will have to let go of them or free them into the wild once they have actually gained their health and strength back and are able to look after themselves again. You can also talk with the Australian Koala Foundation if you think about owning one through Adopt A Koala program.

Other Costs To Consider

Regardless of whether you’re part of a zoo, a conservation group, or an independent scientist, just feeding one Koala might end up costing over $1.0 million per year, as the pet will only eat eucalyptus, and growing this plant is a very sensitive and expensive task. You won’t be able to use any chemicals on these leaves, according to an article from the Japan Times. You will also have to remove the leaves by hand.

There are some other costs you should also consider when figuring out the budget required to buy and raise a koala. Among the most important things you consider before buying the animal would be to set up a habitat very similar to the one it prefers in the wild, featuring enough room for the pet to move around freely. You will need a koala cage of at least 15 ft x 15 ft.

You will also need to find a veterinary clinic that can cater to exotic animals, as your usual vet that treats domestic pets might not have the necessary knowledge to make your koala better in case it gets sick or during any medical emergencies. Finding a properly prepaired vet should be a priority even before taking this animal home.

And speaking of permits, if buying a koala is expensive because of the abovementioned reasons, expect the license and permits to be pricey as well, especially in states or areas where there are strict laws protecting wildlife animals.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Koala Bear

Koala Bears in the WildHere are some of the most important factors to affect the cost of a Koala bear:

The age – we already went over this but the cost of a baby Koala will be bigger than that of an adult specimen. This is because, in this case, it’s not their cuteness that will weigh more but the fact that for older Koalas, the previous owner may have already spent for the vaccines, medications, and training of the pet as it grew.

Its gender – for some reason, the gender of the koala will affect the expense as they are priced differently.

The exact breed – the species the koala comes from will also have a direct impact on the price as the rarer the species are, naturally, the more costly it will be to purchase them, mostly because rarer breeds are also closely monitored by authorities.

The source – the source of the koala has a huge effect on the price, as specimens born in captivity tend to be more affordable than those coming straight from the wild.

License and permits – considering that the possibility of you owning a koala would depend on whether you will be allowed or not, consider it as a huge part of your cost to get the koala bear.

Additional Details

Did you know that koalas have fingerprints? They are the only mammals aside from people and primates to have them.

The typical lifespan of koalas varies from 10 to 14 years.

There are somewhere around 43,000 to 80,000 koalas in the wild according to the Australian Koala Foundation. Their only predators are dingoes and big owls and among their significant threats is deforestation which makes them wander off on the roads causing their death from traffic accidents, and pet dog attacks.

Another threat to the koala population is chlamydia which is also an STD in human beings.

Their preferred food, eucalyptus leaves, is typically poisonous or toxic to other animals. However, koalas have unique bacteria in their digestion system that reduces the effects of the toxin.

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