Australia

Koala bears Australia's wild weather

A koala was photographed in South Australia perched on a fencepost surrounded by floodwaters Image copyright Russell Latter
Image caption A koala was photographed in South Australia perched on a fencepost surrounded by floodwaters

A soaking wet koala perched on a fence post above floodwaters has become the face of wild weather battering southeast Australia.

Heavy downpours have drenched parts of South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales this week.

The huge spring storm has caused floods and road closures, including by mudslides on the Great Ocean Road.

Emergency services have been rescuing people and animals affected by the extreme conditions.

The koala was rescued by South Australian plumber Russell Latter on Wednesday afternoon as flood waters were rising in the Adelaide Hills.

Nearby areas recorded more than 120mm of rain in the preceding 24-hour period.

"He couldn't get to the other side because it was flooded," he told the BBC. "So I coaxed him gently across the bridge."

Mr Latter took a photograph of the koala perched on a nearby fencepost after moving it to safety.

The photo was splashed on the front page of the local newspaper, featured on national TV and widely shared on social media.

Mr Latter said the koala then crossed shallow floodwaters and found his way up a gum tree to rest where it "looked quite happy".

"I've had a few animal rescue people tell me that they have very thick fur," he said.

"They survive out in the trees all winter when it pours, pours and pours. They do rather well."

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