La Trobe University Bendigo student Kirra Coventry filmed her group of outdoor and environmental education classmates helping a koala that had become stranded by rapidly rising water in the Murray river. The students were learning to be river guides when they saw the koala on the edge of Ulupna Island. The students told associate lecturer Chris Townsend it was low in a tree and seemed to be trying to find dry land. They pushed an empty canoe out to it and it climbed aboard, took a seat, then disembarked once it reached shore, where it had a lengthy drink. Townsend said koalas, which are considered a vulnerable species in parts of Australia, were relocated to river islands like Ulupna in the late 1980s and there was now a healthy population there. ‘Koalas are very, very fussy about the trees they will feed in and live in,’ he said. ‘Obviously leading up to this it had found the perfect tree, but I think the floodwaters came up a little bit quickly and it didn’t have time to get down’
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