Koala drowning prompts call for flotation aids
Australia’s record-breaking heat this summer has taken its toll in some surprising ways. The recent drowning of a koala in a Gold Coast residential swimming pool has prompted rescue and conservation groups including Wildcare Australia and the Australian Koala Foundation to offer suggestions for pool owners living near wildlife habitats.
According to a report on the ABC website, koalas often drink from swimming pools when the temperatures soar but (despite being relatively good swimmers) usually struggle to get out of the water once in. Both groups asked that home and pool owners recognise the significance of being located within a primary wildlife habitat and make adjustments that consider that wildlife first.
While help arrived too late for the Gold Coast koala, Wildcare says any flotation device — like a boogie board or pool noodle — can be used to save a struggling animal. All well and good if someone happens be on hand in the event of an emergency, but Wildcare suggests pool owners in wildlife-populated areas should really consider a more permanent alternative. It suggests that a dog ramp is ideal, offering a sturdy, durable and permanent solution that facilitates an easy exit from the pool.
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