The current Australian bushfires are slowly but steadily being brought under control. However, this is by no means over as the fires are still at large and are expected to continue for some time.

Nature has been living in a perpetual state of chaos. Animal fatalities are in the hundreds of millions with many more displaced—far away from their natural habitat and facing many other dangers.

A woman by the name of Pamela Schramm was driving down the road with her family when she stumbled upon one such displaced lonely koala drinking rainwater on the road.

Rainfall came to NSW & so did this little koala which was caught licking water off the road by a driver-by

Image credits: Pamela Schramm

It had recently rained and the thirsty koala was on the road trying to salvage whatever water it could to rehydrate itself after what seemed like ages in the fires. The puddles were so small that it was simply licking the pavement at this point. Still, the koala was so dehydrated that when Schramm attempted to relocate the koala, it was as if it was glued to the road.

Bored Panda reached out to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary to elaborate on koala behaviors and how people should go around resolving the situation of a koala on the road.

Apparently, koalas tend to cross roads frequently, so people shouldn’t be surprised to run into one: “This is mostly due to expanding housing developments encroaching into good koala habitat,” explained Frank Mikula, Wildlife Curator of the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. “With these developments come roads and they are effectively built right through the koala’s habitat, giving them no choice but to cross them as they move from one tree to the next.”

He continued: “In this instance of the koala stopping to take a drink, koalas do, if thirsty, come down the ground to get a drink from puddles created by rain. If this puddle just happens to be on a road, then it is highly likely that they will take advantage of this puddle and stop to have a drink. This, however, does not occur all that often, but given the extreme drought that most of the country is in, every drop is precious and it may increase in occurrence.”

The driver made sure it is all right & posted about it online urging people to stay alert on the road

Image credits: Pamela Schramm

At first, Schramm thought the koala was injured. After carefully inspecting the koala, she returned to the car and got in touch with carers. It turned out the animal was all right, especially when Schramm noticed that the koala went off the road and climbed up a tree—a sign of a healthy koala.

“If people find a healthy koala on the road, they should not make an attempt to pick the koala up as in doing so they may seriously injure the koala, or get themselves injured in the process,” explained Frank Mikula. “What they should do is try to protect the koala from being hit by a car. They can do this by doing what they can to notify oncoming traffic about the koala being on the road. The koala will more than likely only be there for a moment or two and usually by the time a rescue organization is called the koala is likely to have moved on. If they suspect that the koala is injured then they should most certainly call the local koala rescue group or the RSPCA.”

After this encounter, Schramm took to Facebook with some footage and a warning to all who are traveling around Australia to keep an eye out for critters on the road. It is already hard on them with the fires taking away their homes, pushing them out of their habitat, and causing immense stress without the danger of becoming roadkill.

This is what she said in her Facebook post: “Please be careful on the roads. Wildlife coming out to drink. It’s heartbreaking to see them stressed. This was on the Moree to Croppa Creek Road.”

Here is a video of the woman’s encounter with the adorable thirsty koala

Image credits: Pamela Schramm

We’ve asked Frank Mikula what is one thing people ought to know more about Australian wildlife on the roads. He had this to say: “People need to be aware that animals do cross roads regularly and it often occurs during the cover of darkness when most animals are more active. Not speeding through habitat zones is a good way for people to reduce the risk of hitting animals on the road as they will have greater time to react to them.”

According to Australian roadkill statistics, it is estimated that the average roadkill density is 1 animal every 3 kilometers with over 150,000 animals among common roadkill killed every year. Drivers are advised to flash the car’s headlights and to use the horn to warn animals on the road. If possible, move the animal—whether dead or alive—off the road.

Experts say that the current bushfires are the largest and costliest in Australia’s history, having already damaged nearly 13 million acres of land. That’s a bit more than the size of the entire country of Costa Rica. On top of that, as of this article, it is reported that 21 people were killed in the fires with nearly 2,200 houses burned to the ground, as well as millions upon millions of animals killed and dislocated.

This is how people on the internet reacted…