Australia once killed 600,000 koalas in a year. Now they’re the nation’s ‘teddy bears.’ What changed?

Koalas are one of the world’s most beloved animal species. They serve as symbols for everything from bushfire destruction to Australian tourism to caramel chocolate bars. These tree-dwelling marsupials get far more attention than many other endangered native species. But Australians haven’t always felt this way about our seemingly cuddly teddy-bear lookalikes. Far from it.

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