Thirsty Koala Stops To Drink From Cyclist's Water Bottle
A cyclist was stunned when a koala 'suffering severe thirst' walked up to her and quaffed water from her bottle, saying in all her time on the road she's never seen anything like it.
Anna Heusler, from South Australia, stumbled across the animal when she and her group were cycling towards Adelaide today.
It approached the group, and as she began to feed it water it even clambered up onto her bike to continue to drink.
In a series of posts on Instagram, one captioned 'Australian Koala Bears suffering severe thirst in a heatwave', Heusler explained: "This Koala walked right up to me as I was descending and climbed up onto my bike while I gave him water. BEST THING TO HAPPEN TO ME ON A RIDE EVER."
In another post she added: "There were about a dozen cyclists around me watching this (all men) and several commented that it was genuinely the best thing they've witnessed. What a truly wonderful experience."
Speaking to 7News about the bittersweet encounter, Heusler said it wasn't unusual to see koalas when cycling through the bushland, but admitted the creature's reaction to seeing her was surprising.
She said: "We've seen literally hundreds of koalas over the years, we have never seen a koala do this.
"We were descending from Norton Summit Road back into the city early this morning and we came around a bend and there was a koala sitting in the middle of the road.
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"Naturally, we stopped because we were going to help relocate him off the road.
"I stopped on my bike and he walked right up to me, quite quickly for a koala, and as I was giving him a drink from all our water bottles, he actually climbed up onto my bike.
"None of us have ever seen anything like it."
The group carefully escorted the koala back to into the nearby trees.
Thankfully, the animal looked healthy, suggesting it had been unharmed by the region's powerful bushfires. However, many have been suffering after their habitats were burned to the ground, leaving them without water or food.
Jane Brister from Adelaide Koala Rescue, which is currently caring for 46 koalas, said the centre doesn't usually care for so many animals, but their intake has had to increase due to the fires.
Brister told The Advertiser: "A big problem we're noticing now is koalas are coming in starving... there's just no food.
"And part of the problem is there's often at least four days until someone finds them."
Featured Image Credit: Instagram/@bikebug2019