Parched Koalas

Published: Friday 28 February 2003

Parched koalas are roaming Australian towns in search of water. A long-drawn drought, that has been stretching for more than 11 months, has forced the koalas to abandon their babies and eucalyptus trees in the forest and head for household backyards, to drink water from taps and sprinklers.

The lack of rain and intense heat has completely deprived the koalas of leaf moisture. Australia, already a dry continent, is experiencing one of the most severe droughts of the past century. The "Big Dry" as it has been nicknamed, has also affected economic growth by decimating harvests and fuelling more devastating bushfires.

Local residents have actively pitched in, helping to keep many koalas alive by providing water for them. A few koalas have been hit by cars or attacked by dogs; these have been handed in to rehabilitaton centres.

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