Quantcast

Thirsty Koala Becomes the Face of Australia’s Heat Wave

Popular
Koala in a gum tree in Eyre Peninsula, Australia. John White Photos / Moment / Getty Images

As Australia's record-breaking heatwave scorches on into the New Year, one woman's act of kindness to a thirsty animal has gone viral.

Chantelle Lowrie was visiting a camp ground near the Murray River in the Australian state of Victoria Saturday when she saw a koala.


"It was 44 degrees Celsius (111.2 F)— very, very hot day," Lowrie told AFP Tuesday. "I stopped because he looked as though he could use a drink of water."

In a video Lowrie posted to Facebook, the koala climbs partway up a tree, pauses to sip from a water bottle extended by Lowrie, then continues to climb.

The video comes as much of Australia suffers through a deadly heat wave that has seen temperatures rise around 16 degrees Celsius (approximately 60.8 degrees Fahrenheit) above average for this time of year. The heat has led to seven deaths by drowning as people rush to the beach to cool off, Reuters reported Saturday. Five of the deaths took place between Christmas Eve and Saturday in Victoria. In two other incidents, a South Korean man died Christmas Day while snorkeling in a lake in New South Whales, and another man died in the surf on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.

Temperatures in Australia's south lowered somewhat over New Years', but they are expected to climb again later in the week, with thermometers expected to read 41 C (105.8 F) in Adelaide on Thursday and 42 Celsius (107.6 F) in Melbourne on Friday, The Guardian reported Wednesday.

"We've seen a couple of cooler days for southern Australia, still above average for this time of year but cooler than we've seen," Australia's Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) meteorologist Sarah Fitton said. "But we've still just had that heat sitting through central Australia which hasn't gone away. We're going to see north-westerly winds again and that's going to drive that heat that's been sitting in central Australia back across the southern states."

The higher temperatures will put Victoria and South Australia on watch for bushfires.

Heat waves are common in Australia during its summer, but climate change is making them more extreme, AFP reported. The BOM expects that 2018 will be one of the country's five hottest years on record overall, and the third hottest in terms of maximum temperatures, according to The Guardian.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Ryan Hagerty / USFWS

It's become a familiar story with the Trump administration: Scientists write a report that shows the administration's policies will cause environmental damage, then the administration buries the report and fires the scientists.

Read More Show Less
Valerie / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

A coalition of some of the largest environmental groups in the country joined forces to file a lawsuit in federal court challenging the Trump administration's maneuver to weaken the Endangered Species Act.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
beyond foto / Getty Images

By Kimberly Holland

Children who eat a lot of gluten in their earliest years may have an increased risk of developing celiac disease and gluten intolerance, according to a new study published in JAMATrusted Source.

Read More Show Less
Joe Raedle / Getty Images

By Jake Johnson

Calling the global climate crisis both the greatest threat facing the U.S. and the greatest opportunity for transformative change, Sen. Bernie Sanders unveiled today a comprehensive Green New Deal proposal that would transition the U.S. economy to 100 percent renewable energy and create 20 million well-paying union jobs over a decade.

Read More Show Less
orientalizing / Flickr

The Parties to CITES agreed to list giraffes on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) today at the World Wildlife Conference or CoP18 in Geneva. Such protections will ensure that all giraffe parts trade were legally acquired and not sourced from the poached giraffes trade and will require countries to make non-detriment findings before allowing giraffe exports. The listing will also enable the collection of international trade data for giraffes that might justify greater protections at both CITES and other venues in the future.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

The WHO stressed that more research is needed on the potential health risks of microplastic ingestion. luchschen / iStock / Getty Images Plus

The UN's health agency on Thursday said that microplastics contained in drinking water posed a "low" risk at their current levels.

However, the World Health Organization (WHO) — in its first report on the potential health risks of microplastic ingestion — also stressed more research was needed to reassure consumers.

Read More Show Less

Brazil's right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro is giving President Trump a run for his money in the alternative facts department.

Read More Show Less
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee delivered his 2019 State of the State address on Jan. 15. Governor Jay and First Lady Trudi Inslee / Flickr

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who made solving the climate crisis the center of his presidential campaign, is dropping out of the 2020 Democratic primary race.

Read More Show Less