What is KARU?

A cousin of the Australian Koala Bear, the 'Karu Bear' (scientific name: Trichosurus vulpecula - NZ Brushtail Possum) is a marsupial. The 'Karu Bear' was introduced to New Zealand in 1837 for the fur trade and is not available anywhere in the world except in New Zealand.


Photograph: Australian Koala Bear compared to New Zealand Karu (Trichosurus vulpecula).


The 'Karu Bear' is a furry animal weighing up to 5 kilograms with a thick and bushy tail, pointed face, protruding eyes and large ears. It is a nocturnal tree-dweller with long claws to help it grip branches. The 'Karu Bear'’s coat is either a natural brown shade or a natural grey shade. Their soft, luxurious fur is preferred by furriers worldwide but is exclusive only to New Zealand. The 'Karu Bear'’s fur has a unique quality known as “hollow-fibre” which is why it is so warm and is an attribute shared by another animal – the polar bear.

The 'Karu Bear' is found virtually everywhere on mainland New Zealand.

'Karu' in New Zealand's native Maori language means 'eyes'. Our inspiration for our brand name comes from this meaning and is in fitting with its large protruding eyes.