Our hearts are with Australia as they continue to battle massive bushfires. The fires have devastated the continent’s animal populations—including the koala, a species already on the brink of extinction.
One video shows the heartbreaking impact the fires have had on the koalas, as one poor thing makes the most out of a moment of relief.
After months of droughts, people were relieved when the rain finally fell. While it hasn’t put out the bushfires, it’s helped emergency services get things under control and given the wildlife a bit of much-needed relief.
A woman named Pamela Schramm was driving in New South Wales with her children when she came across a koala in the road.
The koala wasn’t moving. She thought he might’ve been injured… until she realized what he was doing:
He was drinking the rain water from the road.
Koalas aren’t often seen drinking water: the name “koala” actually means “no water,” because the animal gets its moisture needs from Eucalyptus trees.
But between the droughts and the fires, Australia’s koalas have been thirsty. One person found a tired koala who gladly accepted her drink of water.
But thanks to the rainfall, this koala was finally able to get a drink for himself, even if it meant getting it from the small puddles in the road.
“We couldn’t get him off the road he was just so thirsty,” Pamela Schramm told Daily Mail Australia.
Frank Mikula, curator of the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, told Bored Panda that this wasn’t unheard of behavior for a koala in times of crisis.
“If this puddle just happens to be on a road, then it is highly likely that they will take advantage of this puddle and stop to have a drink,” he explained.
“This, however, does not occur all that often, but given the extreme drought that most of the country is in, every drop is precious and it may increase in occurrence.”
The koala appeared to be healthy, but to be sure Pamela contacted a carer to check on him. They confirmed he was in good shape.
“When we got close to the tree he moved higher up,” Pamela said. “Which is exactly what a healthy koala should do.”
Pamela posted the video of the encounter, encouraging others to keep an eye out for other thirsty animals.
“Please be careful on the roads. Wildlife coming out to drink,” she wrote. “It’s heartbreaking to see them stressed.”
We’re glad these poor animals are getting a little bit of relief! They’ve been through so much. Share this story!