A photo has appeared on the Internet and at first glance it may seem charming. It shows a koala at a gas station. The animal got lost and ended up in a place where it shouldn’t be. Experts are sounding the alarm.
A koala at an Australian gas station is an unusual sight. This, however, was recently experienced by drivers refueling their cars near a highway in Portland. A photo of the animal appeared on the Internet and quickly spread on social media. Although witnesses and Internet users are delighted, experts warn that such a situation should not happen.
Koala got lost and ended up at a gas station
Wildlife experts say a photo showing a koala at a gas station among people shows the grim reality of the endangered animal. And although the teddy bear appeared in this place to the delight of the residents, it should not be here.
A photo that recently went viral on Facebook shows the Australian species sitting on the premises of a gas station near a highway in Portland, southwest Victoria. It shows a marsupial staring at a man and a young girl. A few meters away, the driver is refueling his car and is completely unaware of the animal’s appearance in such a place.
People are delighted, experts are terrified
People commenting on the photo online found it “cute.” Animal specialists, on the other hand, are sounding the alarm. Koala activist Helen Oakley says it’s a grim sign for the iconic Australian animal.
“I look at this photo and just think how sad it is,” Oakley told Yahoo.
The specialist said that observing an animal at a gas station is a signal that koalas are losing their habitats in the surrounding bush.
“It’s really hard for people to see the bigger picture. They just think it’s cute and worth taking a photo,” she said. “They are lying on the ground and looking for a tree that was cut down with a chainsaw,” the activist adds.
Oakley fears the iconic animals will continue to be displaced as more trees are cut down for commercial buildings and infrastructure. Last year, she spotted a koala climbing a power pole on a suburban street. She got involved in saving the teddy bear and, fortunately, the whole operation was a success.
In Victoria, koalas are likely to become an endangered species after hundreds of trees where they live are cut down. These animals mainly live in trees and open forests, and their main source of food are eucalyptus leaves. In February 2022, koalas were listed as threatened in New South Wales and Queensland. There are fewer than 20,000 koalas left in New South Wales after the devastating Black Summer bushfires killed 8,000 koalas.