Australia is currently in the midst of a deadly and record-breaking bushfire season.
Since September 2019, an estimated 10 million hectares of bush, forest and parkland has been destroyed, which has contributed to the loss of over a billion native animals.
With Australia's wildlife facing such tough conditions, it's become common to see viral videos of people bottle-feeding water to animals, like koalas.
But while the everyday Aussie may be trying their best to help, it has been revealed that pouring water into a koala's mouth can potentially cause fatal damage.
This is because the koala — who is already stressed, weakened and dehydrated by the surrounding conditions — is having water forced down their throat. The water then has the potential to rush into their lungs and cause a deadly pneumonia.
According to Animalia Wildlife, this is what happened to Arnie, a distressed koala that was bottle-fed water and then later died from aspiration pneumonia.
So, what do you do if you come across an agitated animal that needs water? Well, if it's a koala, the best method is to fill a container — whether that be a helmet, bowl, anything — with water and to position it either on the ground or under their mouth so they're able to lap at it like a dog or cat would.
Koalas usually don't drink water as they get most of their sustenance from eucalyptus leaves. But when they do, they would be face down and lapping small amounts with their tongue — which is why it's much more safer to provide water this way.
Now that you know, please educate yourself and others, as there's a lot of misinformation on the Australian bushfires and it's important that we all play our small part.