I don’t know why I’ve always wanted to hug a koala. I’m not what you would really call an animal person. I mean, I like animals, in concept. They are often sweet and cute and their lives and souls are just as valid as anyone else’s. Of course I want good things for them…I just don’t often want to hug them. 

But there’s something about the koala…perhaps it’s because I only really know them as stuffed animals. Or maybe because they look so cute and squishy and lazy. Maybe in some way I relate to this, and I want to high-five this laziness, or even, hug it. Validate it. It’s okay to be lazy, Koalas. Go on with your lazy selves.

But it turns out, koalas aren’t necessarily lazy. They’re actually sort of high. They’re like the loveable stoners of the animal kingdom. And, as can happen to any loveable lover of a good time, there’s a good possibility one is packing an STD.  So my instincts are right. They really do need a hug. (And don’t you be judgy, because you know that anyone with an STD probably needs a good platonic hug.) 

But that was not to happen. See, there is no touching of the koalas. No hugging for the koalas. Because it is illegal to even think about embracing a koala. That’s right. They’re not the loveable stoners  of the animal kingdom, they are the Bubble Boys of the animal kingdom.

In fact, when Jenny and I showed up to the Sydney Wildlife Zoo and told them we were there to hug the koalas, they looked at us like we said, “Hi. We are here to kill some people. Please point us in the direction of the people we are supposed to kill.” 

In other words, they said, “Aww hell naw, you two aren’t touching anything!”  But they said it in their cute Australian accents, so it just sounded like, “Um, you are confused. That is illegal.”

And the more we tried to convince them, the more convinced they were that WE were the ones who were insane. INSANE! Because, see, we had this on our itinerary list and it said we were supposed to be there to… HELLO! TOUCHING KOALAS IS TOTALLY ILLEGAL! But see, we came all this way to… ALSO DID WE MENTION SOME MORE THINGS ABOUT ALL THE ILLEGALITY! Well, we just… ILLEGAL!” 

So we just stood next to the very high and possibly Clamydic koalas and basically just photo bombed them. 

Or perhaps they photo bombed us. Hard to tell. 

This one is obviously riveted. Clearly he needs a hug. Or maybe Jenny does.

So the encounters with city animals went a bit differently than expected. But we did manage to find some furry friends when we rented a car and went off the beaten path. 

For instance… 

We saw a wild wallaby at the most beautiful beach ever. The most beautiful beach ever that was completely empty. That’s the thing about Australia, all of a sudden, you’ll find yourself at the most perfect place with zero people anywhere. Oh but there’s a wallaby.

Also…

We had an encounter with wild kangaroos. On the side of the road. Of course, that eventually led to this….

We perhaps found ourselves a little too close to the wild animals, who are wild. Animals who are not in zoos and/or not wanting to be hugged by a person who happens to be dressed up like said animal. 

Here’s Jenny dressed as a kangaroo, showing the kangaroo a selfie that she’d taken of the two of them. ‘Selfie’ might be the word of the year, but Kangaroos are not into them. That said, it is not illegal to take a Selfie with a kangaroo or to touch a kangaroo. It’s ill advised, but not illegal. 

Oh and then there were the camels. The camels are all about the love. It is a well-known fact that you can totally hug a camel, but probably, a camel will hug you first. Because some animals get it.

Of course, some animals want to kill you.

And some animals want to eat your baby . (PS I do not like dingos at all. They are jerks.)

But Friends, I think we can all agree that koalas are not jerks and they really just need a hug.

Sadly, this is as close as I got.