Koala rides 16km in wheel

Bangkok Post - - WORLD -

ADE­LAIDE: For a stow­away who made a 16km jour­ney squeezed in a wheel arch, a koala was lucky to es­cape with just scratches.

The driver of the four-wheel ve­hi­cle was un­aware of the ex­tra pas­sen­ger un­til they ar­rived at their des­ti­na­tion in the out­skirts of Ade­laide, Aus­tralia, and he heard some un­usual cries.

Af­ter see­ing the koala in the wheel arch, he im­me­di­ately called an­i­mal res­cuers, who re­moved the wheel and even­tu­ally ex­tri­cated the fright­ened but very lucky an­i­mal.

“You think you’ve seen it all. No, I’ve never seen any­thing like that and it’s ab­so­lutely in­cred­i­ble,” said Fauna Res­cue worker, Jane Bris­ter.

The koala suf­fered su­per­fi­cial in­juries and was cov­ered in grease from un­der the car.

“She was cry­ing, she was a lit­tle bit shaken, she was cer­tainly in shock but I rushed her to the vet,” Ms Bris­ter said.

The koala was dubbed Kelli, af­ter one of the fire­fight­ers who res­cued her.

“Kelli’s one of our fine sta­tion of­fi­cers and she led the res­cue crew that day and she was quite ex­cited to have such a good out­come,” said Dave Ju­niper of the South Aus­tralian Met­ro­pol­i­tan Fire Ser­vice.

Af­ter be­ing cleaned up and mon­i­tored for a week, Kelli was re­leased back into the bush on Sat­ur­day.

“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 cur­rently she’s found the big­gest fork in the tree, she’s snug­gled up, she’s fast asleep,” Ms Bris­ter said.

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

Kelli the koala is found trapped in the wheel well of a car in Ade­laide, South Aus­tralia.

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