Koalas are adorable -- adorable, STD-infested deviants. It turns out lots of beloved animals get sexually-transmitted infections that are pretty gross and often times threaten the population. From cuddly koalas to happy little lady bugs, animal STDs are rampant.
The Verge reported today (Aug. 8) that a Chlamydia epidemic among Australian koalas is rendering half of infected females infertile, jeopardizing the world’s population of fuzzy, eucalyptus-munching bears.
Even baby koalas are catching the disease! Is nothing sacred? Koala joeys can catch the infection through suckling and suffer conjunctivitis, urinary infections and other nasty symptoms.
Horses infected with the venereal disease dourine can experience facial paralysis, swelling and skin problems. Lady bugs are being eaten alive by mites transmitted during intercourse. And an STD in crickets can amp up sexual appetite, but leave the little buggers incapable of procreation.
It is not a good time to be an animal in heat.
But the fate of the world’s adorable creatures is not completely dire. A new vaccine is being tested to prevent the spread of Chlamydia in koalas, dourine is all but eradicated and, in some mosquito larvae, STDs can even speed development. Gross.