Adorably furry koalas weigh upwards of 20 pounds and surprisingly do not drink much water at all. According to National Geographic, they actually obtain most of their moisture needs from the eucalyptus leaves they dine on at night.
They even store snack supplies of leaves in special pouches in their cheeks.
After Australians sweltered through the hottest December on record in 2018, the weather didn’t get much better in January, which is the middle of Australia’s summertime where temperatures can reach as high as 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Health warnings were issued in January 2019, advising residents to stay indoors and keep close tabs on their pets.
But wild animals obviously don’t have the same access to air conditioning and misting fans to help them stay cool. Their water holes dried up during the heatwave.
The weather sparked wildfires, adding even more danger to the situation the wild animals faced. People lost electricity when overworked power grids collapsed. The town of Port Augusta peaked at 121 degrees Fahrenheit.
A group of cyclists crazy enough to brave the intense, suffocating heat was out riding when they spied an excessively thirsty koala suffering from the intense heat. Temperatures were well past 100 degrees Fahrenheit at that time.
Anna Heusler shot video and shared on Instagram showing how the desperate marsupial actually climbed up the frame of her bicycle in order to better reach her water bottle and slurp some water.
“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. There were about a dozen cyclists around me watching this and several commented that it was genuinely the best thing they’ve witnessed. What a truly wonderful experience.”
A husband and wife were pedaling along the road on an insanely hot January day, the hottest one on record, Jan. 24, 2019. As they rounded the bend before reaching their gate to home, there sat an incredibly lethargic koala on the side of the road. It could barely hold its head up and hardly move.
The soaring temperatures had dried up nearby water sources and there weren’t enough native eucalyptus trees still standing for it to glean natural moisture from.
In the shade of the straggly trees, the man knelt down and offered water to the koala. They set up a basin and filled it with water so the koala could cool off its paws.
The poor thing gulped the cool water streaming out of the bottle. The man kept trying to entice the poor koala to dip in the old sink, but suddenly it reached out and grabbed the man’s hand as it held the water bottle.
When the cute critter had his attention, the man continued to offer it more water, but the koala wanted to show the man his gratitude and clasped ahold of his hand. The poor koala wouldn’t let go while it as he chugged the refreshing and lifesaving water.
“This sweet little koala drank endlessly from a water bottle while we were doing our best to encourage it to move toward the sink we provided so it could cool its paws in the water.”
Watch the emotions the wild animal showed toward the man who helped save its life in the video below. It’s simply beautiful.
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