The devastation in Australia continues, and the ones who continue to be most affected by the fires are the poor animals – mainly the koalas. Countless of these adorable but slow-moving marsupials have been lost in fires, as well as so much of their habitat has been eradicated. Numerous rescue organizations have been tirelessly working around the clock to help save as many koalas as possible. And these poor koalas have been forced to try to find new homes.
But despite all the death and destruction, one woman in Australia experienced a hopeful and “feel good” moment that she shared with the world.
Lorene McRae was camping on the banks of the Murray River at Tocumwal over the holidays. It was there that she was delighted to spot koalas hanging out beside the riverbank. She spent time near the river observing the koalas and watching them as they adapted to their new environment.
“I spent much time observing them and their adaptive behavior to the heat. I didn’t realize koalas spent so much time out of the trees when necessary. Each day they climbed down the river banks at dawn to sit and sleep on the damp logs, on the sand or in the root systems of the fallen trees. Occasionally they would back up and put their bottoms in the water and go back to sleep,” McRae wrote.
Given that it is currently summer in Australia, many people there were enjoying their time on the water in boats. The noise didn’t seem to bother the animals, who remained calm by the water’s edge, grasping the logs they were resting on and huddled into little balls. “At dusk, they returned to the trees, and the process was repeated every day,” she observed.
Every day, McRae headed down to the river and sat with the koalas. “I sat quietly in the water with one for a while and took hundreds of photos of all of them and they weren’t bothered at all. It was hard to believe these were wild animals and I feel so privileged to have experienced this.”
That sweet moment is definitely hopeful that perhaps other koalas too might soon get to experience peace and bliss once again. Water is such a welcomed relief for all the poor animals running for their lives from the brush fires. Millions of animals are still in danger and need our help. If you can give to an animal charity, please do.