"Koala Balloon" is the 22nd episode of the first season of Wild Kratts, originally airing on PBS Kids on July 11, 2011. The episode was written by Eva Almos and directed by Martin Kratt.
In this episode, the Kratt brothers believe they can survive in the Australian Outback without any of Aviva's technology, including Creature Pods. They parachute from the Tortuga, while the rest of the crew waits for them in a eucalyptus forest, where they plan on observing koalas. Meanwhile, Zach Varmitech attaches a koala by balloons and throws it off his plane. Soon after, Chris and Martin see the koala and help it land, and they are determined to take the koala back to eucalyptus forest, where it belongs. However, because the koala is not in its original habitat, they find it difficult to keep it alive and get it safely back.
The episode begins with a live action segment. The Kratt brothers walk around with two similar yet different animals: an alpaca and a camel. Afterwards, they ask their "What if?" question and the show transitions into the cartoon segment.
The Kratt brothers are packing up to prepare for survival in the Australian Outback. Although Aviva tried to persuade them into taking their Creature Pods, the Kratt brothers refuse, telling her that they do not need them, as they are making sure that their survival is free of the use of modern-day technology. They then parachute down from the Tortuga while the rest of the crew flies away and waits for them at a eucalyptus forest, where they plan on observing koalas.
The Kratt brothers find and watch a thorny devil (which Martin names Spinester) drink by siphoning water collected on its back to its mouth. Meanwhile, Zach Varmitech's plane floats over the Australian Outback. Zach is in Australia to find some eucalyptus tea to relieve his cold. One of his Zachbots sends him a tree with a koala in it. Disgusted, Zach tells his Zachbots to tie the koala to a few black balloons and throw it off his plane. The Kratt brothers notice the floating koala, and they use a tarp to help it land safely. Martin names it Koala Balloon. Knowing that koalas like Koala Balloon do not belong in the desert, they vow to take him back to the eucalyptus forest where he belongs.
The Kratt brothers decide to take a stop after realizing that Koala Balloon is hungry. Koala Balloon, however, knocks their sandwiches to the ground. Later, they decide to give Koala Balloon a drink from a water bottle, but he knocks and spills much of the bottle's contents. Realizing that koalas get their water from eucalyptus leaves, Martin crafts a eucalyptus-shaped leaf out a prickly pear cactus and adds some eucalyptus oil on it. Koala Balloon bites into the leaf, but it does not take him long to realize that the leaf is not a real eucalyptus leaf. Afterwards, they continue trekking, but a pack of dingoes eying Koala Balloon chase them all the way until night time. Martin distracts the dingoes by carving a koala decoy out of wood. He tells Chris to toss Koala Balloon over, and he tosses the decoy in front of the dingoes. With a little time bought, they climb up a tree and decide to sleep on it for the night. However, koalas are nocturnal, so they keep an eye on Koala Balloon instead.
On the next day, the environment begins to take a toll on the Kratt brothers and Koala Balloon, so much that they see a mud wallow mirage, and when they jump into it, they sink into the sand. As they weep, Spinester comes by. This gives Martin the idea to pull out the Creature Power Suits and two Thorny Devil Discs. They activate the Powers and arrive at the eucalyptus forest where the rest of the Wild Kratts are.
The show transitions into the concluding live action segment. The Kratt brothers continue walking around with the alpaca and the camel and compare and contrast them. Afterwards, they conclude the episode by saying "Keep on creature adventuring; we'll see you on the creature trail!"
Note: Featured animals are in bold.
- A koala's diet consists only of eucalyptus leaves, which provide a koala with all the nutrients it needs to survive.
- A thorny devil can "drink" dew on its skin by collecting it through groves and "sucking" it into its mouth. This is an example of capillary action.
- The ecological topics shown in the cartoon segment are non-native species and predation.
- Chris and Martin like lemonade and iced tea.
- This is the first episode a villain does appear, but does not cause any trouble for the Wild Kratts, mainly because Zach was too sick to do any plots that episode, though he did release Koala Balloon into the desert.
- Also, Chris and Martin were completely unaware that Zach was responsible for that, also making this the first episode that the Wild Kratts were unaware of any villains that do appear.