Watch an adorable koala gratefully accept water on a sweltering summer day.
It’s summer down under since Australia is in the southern hemisphere. That means temperatures in some parts of the country can easily crest 100 degrees, with last week peaking at 111 degrees. That’s hot, even by Australian standards.
At those temperatures, creatures that normally wouldn’t be caught dead on the ground wander down from their perches in order to seek hydration. Koalas don’t often need to descend to ground level but for three reasons: the eucalyptus tree they’re on ran out of leaves and they need to find a new food source, they need to pee, or they need to drink.
So when Chantelle Lowrie spotted the marsupial at the base of a tree, she immediately knew what was up. “My first thought was that the poor little fella needs a drink,” she told ABC News, mirroring the thoughts of most Australians on that hot day.
Lowrie approached the creature slowly so as not to startle it, but even so, he seemed very nearly ready to bolt for the first few moments caught on camera. But then it seems to accept that Lowrie just wants to offer it a drink. It stops and gratefully chugs for about 25 seconds before taking off into the brush.
Thirsty koala 🐨 ORIGINAL VIDEO 📹 C'Lowrie's Photography for licensing and usage contact firstname.lastname@example.org :)Posted by Chantelle Lowrie on Friday, December 28, 2018
That amount of water will keep this little guy going for some time, which is a good thing. The less koalas need to come down to ground level, the less likely they’ll be struck by cars, killed by dogs, or otherwise consumed by predators.
Drinking isn’t the only tactic the koala has developed to keep cool. On hot days, koalas will often relocate themselves to the coolest part of the tree, hugging the trunk in order to dissipate heat. Koalas can’t pant like dogs, so they have to adopt alternative strategies such as this in order to cool down.
Photos and video of koalas being given water are becoming increasingly popular due to an increase in high temperatures and wildfires in Australia--which are both due to global warming.