When a North Star woman stopped to take a photo of a koala she had no idea the sensation it would cause.
Pamela Schramm was travelling the Moree to North Star road when she witnessed the creature having a drink from the rain pooled on the road. Pam posted the photo on Facebook asking drivers to be aware.
"I've never been close to a koala in the wild before," she later said, sharing another photo and video of her son with the animal.
"What an amazing sight," one person commented. "Fantastic photo, award-winning I would say" another wrote. "Thank you for taking care". The comments continued... "I don't know how you feel about sharing your photo but I do believe the whole world would love to see this" one woman said. And she wasn't wrong.
"It's been in a Dutch newspaper, Mexico and India. Now Russia has contacted me and the BBC!" Pam said. "I've been completely overwhelmed by the response. I thought the local communities would be amazed by the photo. It's well known they are in the Croppa Creek area. It was just good timing.
"I nearly cried thinking how these animals have been affected by the drought. We take for granted what they are missing out on. It's so hard on these animals. A lot of the bigger animals, livestock have been in the media but these smaller native animals have been forgotten. Only since the bushfires, have animals like koalas been all over the news. I hope this raises more awareness about how they are suffering."
This experience has had more than one life lesson for the family. "I've been able to use this to teach my kids to be wary about the internet. There have been plenty of silly and hurtful comments on some sites. I had to stop reading some of the comments."
People have not heard the full details by simply seeing the images shared. "It had not long started raining so we didn't want to move the koala off the road where he was able to get a drink. We sat with him until he was finished and we put a bag on the guide post to slow traffic down.
"We went back out with a local wildlife carer to check on him and he was up the top of a tree nearby. It was quite emotional to see it back up high and healthy."
The family will now place a water station near the site. They had seen the idea online and planned to place some around the region, and since this encounter are even more keen to help. Pam's father in-law will assist with the construction at the Men's Shed.
With thousands of shares world-wide Pam has now signed a licensing agreement with ViralHog. It will be a small help for the family who are struggling through the drought. She will also donate some of the funds to WIRES to help local wildlife.