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 Kim Jong-un shows off airport designed by architect he likely had executed
- 2 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 3 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 4 Fifty Shades of Grey author E.L James's Twitter Q&A didn't go exactly as planned
- 5 Facebook rainbow profile pictures likely being tracked by social network
Kim Jong-un shows off airport designed by architect he likely had executed
Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
Ex-Scientologist Carmen Llwyelyn blasts 'cult' and her treatment after divorce with Jason Lee
German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
Tunisia attack: 'Paralysed' police let gunman run amok for half an hour, says witness
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
David Cameron struck double blow in his hopes to win Britain a new EU deal
Extend Right To Buy to tenants of private landlords, Labour's Jeremy Corbyn says
Pentagon accuses Russia of 'playing with fire' over nuclear threats towards Nato
£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has ari...
£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An On-line Sales & Customer Ser...
£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the largest hospitality companies...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a result of significant cont...