Heartbreaking video shows thirsty koala taking drink from passing cyclist in Australia

This is the heartbreaking moment a parched koala which survived the Australian bushfires is fed a drink of water by a passing cyclist.

The footage was taken by a Anna Heusler while she was out cycling in Adelaide Hills, Southern Australia, and shows the dehydrated animal desperately guzzling water from a bottle.

According to Ms Heusler, the koala had been suffering as a result of the recent heatwave and was fleeing from the fires.

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"The gorgeous koala walked right up to me and was very obviously dehydrated, and then to top it off, he climbed up onto my specialised bike,” Ms Heusler said.

The cyclist Anna Heusler providing water to a koala (Caters)
The cyclist Anna Heusler providing water to a koala (Caters)

"I couldn't not help him - I named him Kodak, because he was my photograph of the year.

"Usually we'd escort the koalas off the road, to make sure they're safe but it was very clear what this little guy wanted.

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"Since the incident, I thought it was about time I gave something back and I volunteer to go help the koalas in trouble.

"I’m astonished at the emotion pouring out of people around the world and writing to me about what a humanitarian I am. I'm not - the firefighters are the real heroes of Australia.

The koala was severely dehydrated when it was found (Caters)
The koala was severely dehydrated when it was found (Caters)

"Volunteering, we go into the fire zone to rescue the koalas, but the countryside is dead and it looks like Armageddon.

"There's so many orphaned koalas and I knew since taking that photo, I wanted to do something to help them."

So far, the wildfires have killed 25 people, destroyed 2,000 homes and scorched an area twice the size of the US state of Maryland.

In New South Wales, 130 fires were still burning on Tuesday, about 50 of which were uncontrolled.

The fires, fuelled by drought and the country’s hottest and driest year on record, have been raging since September – months earlier than is typical for Australia’s annual wildfire season.

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