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Koalas eat themselves out of one home, into another

Koala Bear December 4, 1997
Web posted at: 11:54 p.m. EST (0454 GMT)

TELFORD SCRUB, Australia (CNN) -- A conservation park in southeast Australia has become the new home of 21 koala bears who ate their way out of their last home.

The koalas originally lived not far away on Kangaroo Island off Australia's south coast, but they overpopulated the island and devoured their food supply.

A rescue effort was mobilized to save the furry, feisty creatures by a group called, appropriately enough, Operation Koala Rescue.

Koalas check out their new home
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A mix of males and females, all sterilized, were loaded into an airplane and flown to Telford Scrub, a popular source of the furry animals for overseas zoos near Mount Gambier.

Operation Koala Rescue hopes that if the new inhabitants settle in and behave themselves, they may in the future be able to ship in unsterilized animals as part of a controlled breeding program.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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