Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Koalas Found in Bay Area Parks!

Oakland, CA
Chunky Waking up From Nap,
Anthony Chabot Regional
Park, Oakland,  CA

Eucalyptus, while not native to the area, is a long-term California resident, having been introduced in the mid 1800's,  There is some controversy over the Australian transplant. Opponents explain that eucalyptus provides neither lumber nor fuel and is both a major fire hazard and an invasive species.  Supporters argue that all that may be true, but it looks pretty and smells nice.

Since fifteen koalas were spotted yesterday at Anthony Chabot Regional Park, the popularity of the Californian eucalyptus may soon be on the rise.  Oakland hikers responded with disbelief, amazement, and glee.  "It was unreal.  There's no way to describe it and nothing to compare it to," said Alotta Werdz (37). "It was like going to Mexico and seeing a polar bear, or encountering a unicorn on your way to the grocery store, or maybe like going to Thailand and coming across a kosher hot dog stand, or cracking an egg and watching a zebra appear.  Or maybe it was more like looking opening your mouth and having someone else's voice come out, or like planting a tomato and seeing an ear of corn sprout up...Like I said, it's pointless to try to compare it to anything else."

In spite of the largely positive response in the Bay Area, the koalas have evoked mixed sentiments nationwide.  Like all immigrants, they must face their fair share of hostility  and judgment.  Barry Dumm, President of the National Organization for the Rights of White Americans, has been agitating to close U.S. borders to foreign influences for many years.   When he learned of the recent koala sightings in northern California, he had this to say.  "They may look cute and furry, but don't be fooled.  They want our jobs.  They want our social services.  Pretty soon, they'll want to the right to marry our children.  They must be stuffed!   I mean..." he added,  "stopped."

Fuzzy (5), spokesperson for the California koalas, replied to such accusations at a press conference early this morning.  "We don't want your jobs. All we want is to live the American dream... a  . habitat much bigger than we actually need and insane amounts of food.  Other than that, we just want to lay around most of the day doing nothing."

The journey of these loveable marsupials to American soil was a harrowing one.  "We traveled by airplane," reports Fuzzy, "holding very still in order to look stuffed."  Then, once they got to California, they hijacked a vehicle from Oakland Airport to Anthony Chabot Regional Park.

The koalas climbed onto a Terrific Shuttle van at 11:48 p.m. and insisted that the driver, Manuel Shift,  take them to the woods on threat of urinating and defecating all over the van.  Mr. Shift, however, was undaunted.   "I was born and raised in New Jersey" says Shift, "so it takes more than vulgarity and filth to scare me."  However, out of fondness for the little marsupials, he took them to the entrance of Anthony Chabot Regional Park and wished them well. 

According to Fuzzy,  the koalas are generally very happy in California and wish to stay.  Local mountain lions mention that they, too, are very pleased.  It still remains to be seen how U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will respond to the unusual situation. It is also unknown what Barry Dumm and other fervent anti-immigrant leaders might do.   Meanwhile, with their futures hanging in the balance, the koalas will be napping for the next several hours and ask that we do not disturb their slumber with flash photography or general ooh-ing and ah-ing.  "We know we're cute," says Fuzzy unabashedly, "but we're tired of people gawking at us as if we were some kind of foreign, exotic, anomaly from Down Under."

Written by Diana Shapiro
photo courtesy of www.izzyanimalworld.wordpress.com


  1. I am on the side of the koalas. I can see that there is tough opposition lined up against them. Hopefully they will be permitted to stay. The suspense is ... well,,, unbearable.