Anna Heusler explained that the koala might have been extremely dehydrated and was in desperate need of water.
When Anna Heusler was out cycling in South Australia's countryside she was surprisingly approached by a koala who was very thirsty. The resident of Adelaide has a passion for riding regularly and this drives her to explore the countryside where most of the wildlife habitats of animals such as kangaroos, koalas, and other vulnerable species, have been devasted by raging bushfires. But in December 2019, when Heusler was out riding her bike with a group of other cyclists she noticed a koala sitting in the middle of the road, reports CNN.
Of course, this wasn't the first encounter Heusler has had with a koala as she has seen many of them out on the road, but this was a first. The group of cyclists' immediate response was to stop on their way and place the animal back in the forest to keep it safe. "We stopped the bikes to help the koala get off the road otherwise they get hit by cars," Heusler told the outlet. But they were soon surprised by the marsupial's reaction who immediately rushed towards them and begged for water. "But the koala walked up to me very quickly, he was obviously very thirsty," she added. Now, koalas are known to keep their distance from humans but this time it wasn't the case.
"As I was giving him a drink from our water bottles, he climbed up into my bike. I've never seen a koala move this quickly. They're usually not people animals, they stay up on the trees and people admire them from afar," she continued. The koala ended up drinking from both Heusler and her partner's water bottle and then it was placed safely across the road so that it wasn't harmed in any way. "We gave him as much as we could and then made sure he was off the road and back to safety," said Heusler while speaking to 7 News Sunrise.
The temperature that day had reached 42° C (108° F) and it was definitely a scorching day for a bike ride. Providing a reason behind this anomaly, Heusler explained that the koala might have been extremely dehydrated and was in desperate need of water. The cyclist also managed to film the whole incident which she later uploaded on Facebook. In the viral video, the thirsty animal can be seen lapping water as quickly as it can from her bottle.
As the Australian fires continue to ravage wildlife and habitat, several warnings have been issued to evacuate several towns in the southeastern state of Victoria. Heusler hopes that this episode helps raise awareness of the severe condition animals and residents of the area are being subjected to. "There's nothing but tragedy in Australia. It's burning out of control," said Heusler. "I hope this episode helps spread awareness. The firefighters are the real heroes, not me." She also created a GoFundMe account to fund Adelaide Koala Rescue, who are rescuing and caring for "over 110 koalas that have been injured in the Adelaide Hills bushfires and/or suffering from dehydration."
You can click here to make a donation.