I tried to translate an article, which had been on the newspaper named Chunichi Shimbun on Monday of the 30th January, into English because the story interested me.
A koala in Higashiyama Zoo, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya, surprises the zoo keepers by its strange behavior. Normally, koalas are known to live high up on the trees, however, the koala in Higashiyama goes down to the ground at night and curls itself up, then sleeps there. Sometimes, it is fast asleep sprawled. According to the zoo, it’s rare that even Koalas which are raised by human sleep on the ground.
This koala is male and three and half years old, named Aoi. He was born in a zoo named Awaji Farm Park in Minami-Awaji, Hyogo prefecture in August, 2002. And then he came to Higashiyama Zoo in October, 2004. He is always calm and very coward.
He started acting oddly and boldly right after arriving at Higashiyama zoo. One day a keeper found Aoi curled himself up on the ground when he checked the surveillance monitor, and gasped.” I had never seen a koala acting such thing before!” There are other 8 koalas in the zoo, but they have never slept on the ground.
First, Aoi slept on the ground only about 30 minutes, but his sleeping time on the ground is getting longer and longer, at last he slept on the ground 7 hours this month!
As he sleeps at the same place, a little pit, which shapes into his hip, was formed on the ground.
Koalas usually spend most of their time on the trees, go down to the ground only about 15 to 20 minutes a day.
“It’s no way to sleep on the ground for Koalas. If they sleep on the ground, they’ll get attacked by their enemies in the wild. I’m wondering if he is free from fear, or he doesn’t like the angle of the trees… I don’t know.” said Mr. Yasunobu Tojima, his keeper.
Mr. Tojima called and asked Awaji Farm Park, where Aoi was born, but according
to them, he had never slept on the ground there. The mystery hasn’t been solved yet.
Since Aoi usually sleeps on the ground past midnight until around 6 o’ clock in the morning, visitors cannot observe it. They are now thinking if they can show “his strange act” to visitors by the video in the zoo.