The RACV Great Victorian Bike Ride is held in Victoria, Australia, in November each year. It isn’t a race so much as an event where bikers take in the scenery and have the opportunity to raise money for good causes throughout Australia. The RACV allows participants to enjoy parties, live music, camping, sightseeing, and cycling all rolled into one fun 9-day event that spans 320 miles.

Each night, bike riders stay in different camp sites in a new town. An event on such a massive scale requires a significant number of volunteers, and Muzammil Patel answered the call for help during last year’s event. Patel got involved to aid the bike riders during the long journey. What he didn’t anticipate was that he would also be saving a life.

While stopped at a camp site for the evening, Patel and his friends noticed something floating in the Barham River. On closer observation, they realized a fuzzy little koala was drowning before their eyes. Victoria is one of the few places in Australia where the marsupials still live in the wild, though usually they stay up in the treetops. 

The nocturnal koala is usually a good swimmer, but they can experience problems with their vision that make it tough for the once pouch-dwellers to stay afloat. Patel and his friends didn’t have time to wonder about how this cutie got into its predicament. They knew the koala would drown if they didn’t respond quickly.

Patel reached out to the local animal control, but they would not arrive in time to save the animal. He knew he needed to save the tiny koala before it slid beneath the water.

Without a second thought, Patel ran into the river and waded toward the floundering koala. With the help of a branch, he maneuvered the koala closer until he could gently take hold of the furry creature.

Patel carefully held the koala in the waist-high water. Then, after taking a few photos with the little one, he and his friends released the koala back into the wild.

Some folks say you shouldn’t intervene with nature, to let things take their course. Could you do that? Let a precious koala die before your eyes when you could easily rescue it?

Patel couldn’t allow the innocent being to die. He’s certainly a hero in our eyes for his kind actions.

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