Kinky Koalas: They’re Adorable… And 50% Have Chlamydia

2012 Winter TCA Tour - Day 2
Credit: Getty Images

Koalas, they’re just like us…by which we mean they should probably use condoms (“kondoms”?) more often. Sure, they might seem like cuddly teddy bears come to life–actually, they’re marsupials–but these depraved nymphomaniacs are walking, eucalyptus-chewing STD factories. About half of them have chlamydia, truly a shocking statistic to anyone who’s never pledged a fraternity or sorority on campus.

Yeah, it’s funny until you realize that koala chlamydia doesn’t just make pissing burn; it’s a fatal disease that’s decimating their numbers, as is a deadly retrovirus called KoRV. In some parts of Australia, 40% of koalas have died off. In other parts, it’s 80%. They’ve become an endangered species ’cause they can’t keep it in their pants/pouches.

Fortunately, scientists might be on the path to a cure. Researchers at the Queensland University of Technology recently announced a “holy grail” genetic discovery that could represent “a major step forward in understanding and controlling diseases in this species.” But they still have to map 8,000 out of 20,000 koala genes at a cost of $5.2 million. And even if they can save koalas from STD-induced extinction, nobody can save koalas from banging their own family members.

So, anyway, aren’t these adorable rascals just, like, super cute?

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Marty Beckerman (@martybeckerman) is the Associate Editor of Guy Code Blog