Here's A Bunch Of World Leaders Holding Koalas

Hopefully they don't catch an STD from the cuddly creatures. Because that's a thing.

Leaders of the 20 largest economies gathered in Brisbane, Australia, this weekend for the annual G20 summit, to discuss the most important political and eco— Oh, who are we kidding. They are clearly there to hold koalas.

While the resulting photos — like this one of South Korean president Park Geun-hye — are adorable, koalas harbor a dark secret.

The problem — as Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott probably "forgot" to tell Russian President Vladimir Putin — is that there's a rampant outbreak of chlamydia among koalas.

"In some parts of Australia, koala infection rates are as high as 90 percent," per the BBC, and the disease "causes blindness and infertility in koalas." Brazilian president Dilma Roussef seems unconcerned, though.

That's probably because, like in humans, the disease can be treated with antibiotics. So the one that Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is holding, being from a preserve, is probably STD-free.

But if Mateo Renzi, Italy's Prime Minister, had met this guy in the wild, he probably would be best leaving it alone. Though koalas catch a different strain of chlamydia than in humans, it can still be transferred between the species.

So though the disease has been devastating wild populations, there's hope: a new vaccine is proving useful both for captive and wild koalas. So we can hopefully have pictures like this one of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and a koala for years to come.

Even if they are kind of jerks.

View this video on YouTube
Skip to footer