The SO: "Hey dear, look! It's a wild koala there! Wanna see it?"
Me: "Erm, sure!"
The SO is always looking for opportunities for me to appreciate local wildlife and turned the car around.
And in the headlights, we saw it - stumbling and dazed... its hind leg and left eye bleeding, a splatter of still-red blood on the bitchmen.
We parked the car by the side of the road and turned our hazard lights on. I thanked whatever lucky stars we had that we still had our picnic blanket in the boot from an afternoon up at Mt Tambourine yesterday, cuz everytime a vehicle sped past, the koala would shuffle around - once back towards the road and once towards a waterway.
Carefully wrapped over with the picnic blanket, I called my mum-in-law to tell her what we had found and asked if she could find the phone number for a local wildlife rescue organisation.
All the while, we shivered in the cold as we waited. Not a single car that drove past stopped, bar one - a man who had just gotten off a 14 hour shift, but he stopped, got out of his car and asked if everything was alright, and offered to call the rescue for us.
My mum-in-law drove down to keep us company as we waited for the Redlands Wildlife Care Network to send a pickup.
All this time, the koala was docile under the picnic blanket, the SO softly petting its soft fur to ensure it was breathing and warm. But when the rescue people came with thick gloves and picked it up to put into a transport cage, it fought and grunted like a beast.
The rescue people logged its GPS location for whenever it recovers and is ready to be released back in its territory, and allowed us to name it.
The SO: "You name it."
Me: "What? I can't. I don't know if it's a boy or a girl. You name it."
The SO: "Nup."
The rescue lady: "How about Mel? It's a generic name."
Me: (¬_¬)... "No... I'm Mel."
The rescue lady: "That's ok."
Me: "Damn it.... what's the letter after 'Q'?"
The SO: "... R. Fine, it's Rusty."
And so we named it Rusty - a name meant for a dog, but it'll mean we can call the rescue later and ask how it's going. Hopefully we got to it in time and its injuries are not too severe, cuz we know if we hadn't stopped, the next couple of cars would've run it over again and again.
In the meantime, I hope the asshole who ran it over... who didn't stop... who didn't get out of their car to check if it was still alive... who didn't bother to call a wildlife rescue... I hope they get their just desserts, for being so cruel, for not slowing down, for not trying to avoid hitting a creature in the safety of their hunk of metal.
Whoever you are, you're a fucking shithead.