Members of Australia's Volunteer Coast Guard rescued a koala stranded about 300 meters from shore on Sunday. The animal was found clutching swing mooring ropes at Warneet, Western Port in Victoria.
The volunteers wrapped the animal in a towel and released it back on shore.
Koalas are arboreal herbivores native to Australia. They are found in coastal areas of the mainland's eastern and southern regions where they typically inhabit open eucalypt woodlands, and the leaves of these trees make up most of their diet. Because this eucalypt diet has limited nutritional and caloric content, koalas are largely sedentary and sleep up to 20 hours a day.
Being marsupials, koalas give birth to underdeveloped young that crawl into their mothers' pouches, where they stay for the first six to seven months of their lives. These young koalas, known as joeys, are fully weaned around a year old. Koalas have few natural predators and parasites, but are threatened by various pathogens, such as Chlamydiaceae bacteria and the koala retrovirus as well as by bushfires and droughts.
The Australian Volunteer Coast Guard is an organization composed entirely of volunteers. Formed in 1961, its aim is to promote safety in the operation of small craft.