Saturday, February 02, 2013

Koala stalked woman in bid to quench thirst

A thirsty koala made the rare move of climbing down a tree before following a woman walking along suburban roads, drinking three bottles of water over an hour. It took three bottles of water to satisfy the marsupial who was snapped during Woo-Hyang Sun's morning walk through the Adelaide foothills on Thursday, January 24.

"I was walking near the Black Hill Conservation Park entrance (when) my husband spotted a koala in a tree," Mrs Sun said. "We took some photos, and initially the koala looked scared. She kept looking at me and looked like she wanted something, so I poured some water in my palm, and the koala drank it at once." But that was not enough. As the temperature began to rise, the thirsty koala became even more ambitious.

After sustaining long eye contact with Mrs Sun's husband for several minutes, the koala succumbed to the prospect of a cool drink of water and climbed down from the tree, not at all phased by her suburban surroundings. Not only did the koala hit the streets of Athelstone for a leisurely stroll, it almost threatened to get behind the wheel of Mrs Sun's car. "When I opened the car door, she was poking her head to look inside my car, I guess for more water?," she said.

"I could not leave as I was worried about her safety, so lead her back to a tree in the park, using the water as a bait. I had to give her yet another bottle of water before she let me go. At times she grabbed the bottle to tip it higher, just like humans, and as if she's done it many times before," Mrs Sun said. "After she finished the whole bottle, she was waving her hand, I guess, for more water. She followed me for an hour and ended up drinking three bottles altogether - definitely the friendliest koala I've ever seen."

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