Japan shows yen for koalas
Saturday 05 March 1994
The Lotte corporation, one of Japan's biggest biscuit-makers, this week put its money where its merchandise is and sent a cheque for 100,000 Australian dollars ( pounds 50,000) to the Australian Koala Foundation, a non-profit-making conservation group devoted to saving koala bears from extinction. It was the biggest donation the foundation has received, and at least two- thirds more than any single contribution from an Australian company or government.
Koalas have served Lotte well for a decade. That is how long it has been making koala- shaped, chocolate biscuits which produce an income of 57bn yen ( pounds 367m) a year. Over the same period, Australia has had an explosion of Japanese tourists, among whom one of the most popular activities is now a 'Save the Koala Tour'.
This involves each visitor planting at least one eucalyptus tree to regenerate koalas' natural habitats. Since the bush fires which devastated New South Wales in January, and killed up to 5,000 koalas, more money for koalas' welfare has poured in from Japan than anywhere else. Another Japanese corporation is reported to be ready to match Lotte's Adollars 100,000 soon.
All of which has led Deborah Tabart, executive director of the Australian Koala Foundation, to conclude sombrely that the Japanese have learned the value of koalas more than Australians have. The foundation recently sought donations from about 400 Australian companies which use koalas in their logos and products. The response rate was 0.03 per cent. 'The Japanese have developed a great bond with koalas because they have so little contact with animals,' Ms Tabart said. 'They buy plastic birds to sing to them and live in cities where nature seems to have disappeared.'
Ms Tabart and her colleagues have earmarked the Japanese money for a project using satellite technology to produce urgently Australia's first national map of remaining koala habitats.
- 1 Forget 'The Dress': Here are five of the biggest news stories you might have missed
- 2 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 3 Prince Harry leaving the armed forced to pursue conservation projects in Africa
- 4 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 5 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin
Leonard Nimoy dead: Star Trek Spock actor dies after suffering lung disease
PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin, says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
White and gold or blue and black – what colour is the dress? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Aqsa Mahmood branded a 'disgrace' by her parents after claims she recruited three UK girls flying to Middle East
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: EXETER - A great new opportunity with real pot...
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: EXETER - An outstanding senior opportunity for...
salary equal to £40K pro-rata: Sauce Recruitment: Are you available to start a...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Creative Front-End Developer - Claph...