Koala drowns while seeking shelter from Australia heatwave in swimming pool

Residents advised to put flotation devices in pools

Toyin Owoseje@toyinreports
Monday 04 February 2019 16:08
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A koala named Summer drowned in a backyard pool.
A koala named Summer drowned in a backyard pool.

A koala "looking for a drink" has drowned in a swimming pool amid a record-breaking heatwave in Australia.

Animal rescuers responded to a call on Sunday by a homeowner on the Gold Coast who had found the animal at the bottom of their pool.

Wildcare Australia, an animal charity, said the koala, named Summer by the rescue team, was likely dehydrated and “looking for a drink, which is usually why koalas lose their lives to pool drownings".

Australia endured its hottest month on record in January, with temperatures soaring above 40C for several days straight in some areas.

With the scorching conditions expected to persist through April, Wildcare Australia urged locals to take measures to protect wildlife.

Residents were urged to consider covering their pools when not in use, or putting a flotation device on the water and tying it by thick rope to a tree.

“If there are no assisted ways for a koala to climb out they will eventually drown," the charity wrote on Facebook.

It added: “With this terrible summer heat and no rain that we are experiencing in so many parts of the country, please help keep wildlife safe with little things you can do."

The decision to share the image of the dead marsupial on social media prompted a strong response from the online community.

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“Thank you for posting even though it is distressing to see it makes people aware," one person said.

Another post read: “Oh my gosh, this is heartbreaking.”

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