Please DO NOT GIVE WATER TO KOALAS BY POURING WATER FROM BOTTLES INTO THEIR MOUTHS. PLACE A BOWL OF WATER ON THE GROUND OR POUR THE WATER IN TO YOUR HAT/HELMET/CUP ETC AND HOLD NEAR KOALAS MOUTH SO THAT IT CAN LAP AT IT
With all the facebook posts about wonderful people caring for wildlife amidst the fire and heat disasters over these past weeks a silent tragedy is happening. Koala’s are DYING because people are trying their best to help but don’t understand how a koala actually drinks.
The little Koala seen in the middle picture is Arnie. He comes from a little town north of Bairnsdale. Arnie survived the heat wave AND fires with only minor burns to his feet and hands. His burns were healing. He survived losing his mum and the loss of his home. He was found by some very caring people who did what any human would do when they find a distressed animal, and offered him a drink from their bottle of water. They were just trying to help. They didn’t know that it is dangerous for Koala’s to drink this way. They didn’t know that Koala’s usually get most of their water via the gum leaves that they eat and they don’t often drink water, but when they do, they are face down and lapping small amounts with their tongue. They didn’t know that when a Koala holds it head up and takes in too much water, it can easily get in to their lungs and cause Aspiration Pneumonia, which is usually fatal. This is exactly what happened to little Arnie. Despite a mammoth rescue effort involving all three emergency services and wildlife rescuers he died… more specifically he drowned. It was heartbreaking for everyone involved. That is why we want to share this post. So people can help in the best way possible.
If you find a Koala in need of help in the heat or in a fire zone, please DO NOT OFFER IT WATER BY TIPPING IT FROM A BOTTLE OR CUP INTO THEIR MOUTHS AND NEVER FORCE A KOALA TO DRINK. IF it is safe to do so then catch it in a blanket and transport to the nearest shelter, otherwise take note of its location and let someone know the details. Please note that Koalas can cause nasty injuries so if the Koala is resisting do not try and pick it up. If you are nowhere near help then the best way to hydrate koalas is to PLACE A BOWL OF WATER ON THE GROUND OR POUR THE WATER IN TO YOUR HAT/HELMET/CUP ETC AND HOLD NEAR KOALAS MOUTH SO THAT IT CAN LAP AT IT, FACE DOWN.
PLEASE remember that Koalas are arboreal and nocturnal. If you see one sitting on the ground during the day then please contact a wildlife rescue organisation. They are usually very stressed if they are at the point of allowing human interaction, so please do not try and take selfies with the animal as you are just causing continued stress.
PLEASE share this. With all the videos going viral of people giving them water from their bottles, the koalas have an added risk, during an already dangerous time! Please tell all of your friends… and if you see a video of someone pouring water out for a Koala comment on it saying: “PLEASE DO NOT GIVE KOALAS WATER BY POURING IT. JUST LET THEM LAP AT THEIR OWN PACE. IF IT GETS IN THEIR LUNGS IT COULD KILL THEM.