A fairytale goose may have laid a golden egg, but the tiny Australian town of Gunnedah hopes to make money from koala dung.
Gunnedah, self-styled “Koala Capital of the World,” is packaging its bountiful koala droppings and selling them to tourists at A$1 (around 53 U.S. cents) a bag.
Tourism official Chris Frend said his little town in New South Wales state had begun packaging marsupial feces as “Koala Kitsch” six months ago.
“It’s early days as far as marketing them is concerned and who knows, we might end up with gold ones, or something like that, as earrings or pendants,” Frend told Reuters on Wednesday.
“The mind boggles as far as where we can go with it all.”
The aim is to promote Gunnedah, about 480 km (300 miles) north of Sydney and with a population of 13,000, as a tourist destination because of its large, healthy koala population.
Hygiene is not a problem, Frend insisted.
“Well, they’re in a plastic bag, a la natural,” he said. “Obviously you don’t encourage people to take them out of the bag or anything like that but they don’t smell, they’re just naturally dried.”
The current main source of Koala Kitsch is a female marsupial who has taken up residence in a tree outside the tourist office.
Demand has not yet reached a point where officials have to put a bucket under the tree but, even if interest soared, it shouldn’t cause too much of a problem.
“It’s so renewable,” Frend said.