Night time in the Australian outback is a time for wild animals to wrap up, curl up or huddle together. Temperatures can get as low as five degrees Celsius in some parts: cold enough to kill any living thing that finds itself out in the open, even one with fur. Read on to discover how a dog with a thicker coat than most saved the life of a less fortunate furry friend and became a local hero.
On a chilly September morning Asha the Golden Retriever enjoyed her usual patrol of her mum’s farm in Strathdownie, Western Victoria. She liked to make sure there were no unwanted guests around before her mum and dad got up. But today something seemed amiss. Even though Asha’s folks were still tucked up in bed, as she trotted back to the house she had the distinct feeling that she wasn’t alone.
Dad was the first one to see it: a small infant koala clinging to Asha’s back for dear life. ‘It was quite early in the morning,’ mum Kerry told News.com.au, ‘and my husband yelled out to me to come have a look at something. I didn’t know what he was talking about at first but then I saw this tiny koala snuggled on top of Asha.’
Although she didn’t seem at all phased by the hitchhiking koala cub Asha’s guilty look caused Kerry to see the funny side. ‘I just burst out laughing,’ she recalled. ‘Poor Asha didn’t know what to think, she just kept looking at me with such a confused look. She looked a bit guilty when I came out to see what was going on. Her expression was hilarious.’
When Kerry moved in for a closer look she noticed how warm and content the little bear was. Clearly it had lost its mum and had latched onto Asha for protection against the cold night air. Kerry finally removed the cub and contacted a local koala rescue centre. After being given the once over by a vet the cub was taken away to be looked after until it was healthy enough to be released into the wild.