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Heartbreaking footage shows koala begging cyclists for water in searing Australian heat

A koala receives water from a cyclist during a severe heatwave that has hit Australia (Picture: BikeBug2019/Reuters)
This desperate koala can be seen hastily drinking water in a bid to cool down amid the soaring heat in Australia.

The marsupial approached a group of cyclists who were riding towards Adelaide, where temperatures are nearing 40C.

Anna Heusler said the group saw the stricken animal in the middle of the road when they went round a bend in the state of South Australia.

She told 7 News: ‘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.’

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koala and australia
A koala receives water from a cyclist during a severe heatwave that has hit Australia (Picture: BikeBug2019/Reuters)

This desperate koala can be seen hastily drinking water in a bid to cool down amid the soaring heat in Australia.

The marsupial approached a group of cyclists who were riding towards Adelaide, where temperatures are nearing 40C.

Anna Heusler said the group saw the stricken animal in the middle of the road when they went round a bend in the state of South Australia.


She told 7 News: ‘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.’

To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web
browser that
supports HTML5
video

A koala joins a CFS volunteer who was fighting the bushfire at a Lobethal vineyard. Two houses were saved. In recent weeks you have seen the training we have been doing,our very well attended open day and again our hugely successful Bush fire prevention meeting but lets just give a snap shot since Thursday PM. On Friday am, many plans were already put in place for the Catastrophic fire day.many hours of e-mails,phone calls etc for possible crew availability and numbers not only for Eden hills but for Sturt Group.Then early on Friday the FDI (fire danger index) reached 50 so we went to active stand by,our crews left their families,work and whatever they were doing to be ready to respond. Prior to this we were called out at 2.19 am to our first job a tree down then a request to help our MFS cousins to offer assistance,then an Immediate strike team to the Cudlee creek fire, a fire alarm in Blackwood then a grass fire at Craigburn farm.We currently have had strike teams deployed Friday afternoon,Friday night/Saturday morning,Saturday daytime and Saturday Night.Then early on sunday morning we recommissioned our truck that returned from the Cudlee Creek fire ready for its next call out and currently we have another deployment to the Cudlee creek fire.We also have Firefighters deploying shortly to the Queensland, NSW and Kangaroo Island fires these Firefighters will be away for the Christmas period and possibly other incidents to as they occur.But the most amazing thing so far ??? The support of our community,we have had people drop in with food,drinks,offers of support and an amazing young lady with her mother who brought us ice creams on a 46 degree day.We thank you all for your amazing support but please please do that 5 minute bush fire plan and help us help you. Stay safe. ""UPDATE"" Our recently crowned Firefighter of the year insisted they attend the Saturday strike team even though it was their 21st birthday party night. Now that is commitment.We are all so so very proud of our member's and their commitment.
A koala with a volunteer firefighter as bushfires destroy his home (Picture: Facebook)

Australia is currently experiencing a record-breaking heatwave, with average daily temperatures pushing into the high 40s.

The heat has exacerbated the bushfires and more than four million hectares have already been burnt – an area roughly one-third of the size of England.

Nearly 1,000 homes have been destroyed and nine people have been killed.

The plight of the koala has come into particular focus as around 30% of their habitat has been destroyed.

A koala drinks water offered from a bottle by a firefighter during bushfires in Cudlee Creek, south Australia, December 22, 2019, in this picture obtained from social media. Picture taken December 22, 2019. Mandatory credit OAKBANK BALHANNAH CFS/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS -THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES.
A koala drinks water offered from a bottle by a firefighter during bushfires in Cudlee Creek, south Australia (Picture: Reuters)
PORT MACQUARIE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 29: A koala named Kate from Bellangry State Forest is treated for burns at The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital on November 29, 2019 in Port Macquarie, Australia. Volunteers from the Koala Hospital have been working alongside National Parks and Wildlife Service crews searching for koalas following weeks of devastating bushfires across New South Wales and Queensland. Koalas rescued from fire grounds have been brought back to the hospital for treatment. An estimated million hectares of land has been burned by bushfire across Australia following catastrophic fire conditions in recent weeks, killing an estimated 1000 koalas along with other wildlife. (Photo by Nathan Edwards/Getty Images)
A koala named Kate from Bellangry State Forest is treated for burns at The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital (Picture: Getty)

Thousands of the iconic marsupials are feared to have died in the fires, particularly in the hardest hit state of New South Wales.

The state was home to around 28,000 koalas but their numbers are known to have been depleted since the crisis broke out around two months ago.

They have perished either in the bushfires or from starvation and dehydration afterwards.

Campaign group the Total Environment Centre said the government was not doing enough to help the animals and said management plans needed to be put in place.

Director Jeff Angel added: ‘Survival of koalas is at emergency level with the decline of populations, loss of habitat and the bushfires.

‘We urge the government to do more, and quickly.’

A koala looks at the camera while receiving water from a cyclist during a severe heatwave that hit the region, in Adelaide, South Australia, Australia December 27, 2019 in this image taken from social media. Picture taken December 27, 2019. INSTAGRAM/@BIKEBUG2019/via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES.
A koala looks at the camera while receiving water from a cyclist during a severe heatwave (Picture: BikeBug2019/Reuters)
PORT MACQUARIE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 29: A koala named Paul from Lake Innes Nature Reserve recovers from his burns in the ICU at The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital on November 29, 2019 in Port Macquarie, Australia. Volunteers from the Koala Hospital have been working alongside National Parks and Wildlife Service crews searching for koalas following weeks of devastating bushfires across New South Wales and Queensland. Koalas rescued from fire grounds have been brought back to the hospital for treatment. An estimated million hectares of land has been burned by bushfire across Australia following catastrophic fire conditions in recent weeks, killing an estimated 1000 koalas along with other wildlife. (Photo by Nathan Edwards/Getty Images)
A koala named Paul from Lake Innes Nature Reserve recovers from his burns in the ICU at The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital (Picture: Getty)

The government has said they will know more about the situation once the fires are out.

Local residents have been rescuing the marsupials or taking them to specialist centres, where they have been treated for burns.

Today, fire danger around Sydney and the capital Canberra was upgraded to ‘severe’ as firefighters brace themselves for another heatwave.

Temperatures peaked today at 38C and they are set to rise over the next seven days.

Koala in Australia
Bushfires have destroyed around one-third of the habitat of wild koalas in Australia
A koala receives water from a cyclist during a severe heatwave that hit the region, in Adelaide, South Australia, Australia December 27, 2019 in this image taken from social media. Picture taken December 27, 2019. INSTAGRAM/@BIKEBUG2019/via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES.
Koalas are dying from starvation and dehydration as well as the bushfires in the hottest weather Australia has ever known (Picture: BikeBug2019/Reuters)

Meanwhile, New South Wales Emergency Services Minister David Elliott has gone on an overseas family vacation in the wake of Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s much-criticised family trip to Hawaii.

Morrison, who apologized for going away, eventually cut short his vacation and returned to Sydney last weekend.

Elliott said he will be briefed daily while overseas, adding: ‘If the bushfire situation should demand it, I will return home without hesitation.’


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