Just another day on the water for members of the coast guard in Australia.
Debris in the water is normal, but then they noticed what looked like a water-logged stuffed toy.
It was propped against a mooring near a marina as if someone lost the “stuffie” from a passing boat.
Then they moved closer and realized that “stuffed toy” was something they’ve never seen before.
They needed to move fast before disaster struck.
What looked like a stuffed toy was a shivering, confused koala.
Tired and stranded, the little guy was clinging to the wooden post. Koalas can swim, although not well, and this little one was disoriented. He didn’t know how to get back to dry land.
“I saw the koala on the mooring and at first I thought it was a stuffed toy,” Sean Hannam, a crew member on the boat, told local news.
If left alone, this koala wouldn’t make it.
Doing what they do best – saving lives – coast guard crew members moved their boat into position to save the little guy.
“We turned the engine off and I threw a blanket over him while I was standing on the ladder at the back of the boat,” Hannam said.
The crew made the rescue look easy, but it was a little more dicey than snatching a toy from the water.
Some crew members stood on the opposite side of the boat from the koala so it didn’t capsize when Hannam reached for the furry little castaway.
“The koala didn’t struggle and we took him ashore,” Hannam said.
The koala had time to dry off, get warmed up and regain strength.
Hannam placed the bundled up furry guy on land and backed away.
Koalas don’t move too fast, and this guy took a moment to get oriented to his situation.
When the furry fellow decided to head out, he turned and looked back at his rescuers.
That pause and glance back appeared to show he was thankful for the coast guard crew members who saved him.
Then the koala walked away to live his life away from water.
“He got to walk away gracefully,” Hannam wrote about the koala in posts on social media.
He shared photos of the rescue and the koala. Many people praised him and the other crew members for being so helpful.
“Just the conservationist in me,” Hannam said, humbly.
It’s good to know such dedicated people are watching out for critters great and small on the open water.
Source: The Dodo