Koala hides on axle, goes for 10 mile ride


Koala hides on axle, goes for 10 mile ride

In our favourite survival story of the year, a Koala has managed to survive a 16-kilometre journey while trapped in the wheel axle of a auto.

Don Bigham, from Fauna Rescue of South Australia's Koala Hotline, said they believed the marsupial crawled into the wheelwell where it attached itself to the axle last weekend.

A koala survived for 16 kilometers, hooked on the wheel arch of a vehicle, before the driver stopped and heard the crying screams of the injured animal.

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Brister then contacted Metropolitan Fire Service to help remove the vehicles wheel to free the koala.

"I could smell her burnt fur".

Sadly, she is a new mother as vets could tell she was lactating so her joey is now without a mother unless the koala can make it back to her young.

Jane Brister from Fauna Rescue SA said she could smell burning fur when she arrived at scene
Jane Brister from Fauna Rescue SA said she could smell burning fur when she arrived at scene

The koala, named Kelly after one of the rescuers, is believed to have been stuck under the wheel for up to an hour.

"I searched that night and the next two days but I never found it", explained Brister.

"After everything she's been through, she's had so much stress and trauma, to see her just toddle off and up the tree, and now she's found the biggest fork in the tree, she's snuggled up, she's fast asleep", Brister said.

After a couple of days of feeding in captivity, Brister released the koala back into the wild.

Rescue workers say it's not unusual for koalas to seek shelter in unusual places.

Koalas are listed as "vulnerable" in Australia - there are fewer than 100,000 remaining in the wild, with some estimates putting the number as low as 43,000.