Koala survives 16km ride on vehicle axle

Cheryl Sanders
September 17, 2017

A koala has miraculously survived a deathly 16 kilometre journey while she was stuck in the wheel of a vehicle. The female koala crawled into the wheel arch while the vehicle was parked in the hills on the outskirts of Adelaide, the state capital of South Australia.

The driver, who has not been identified, only realised they had picked up an extra passenger when they stopped the auto and heard the cries of the animal.

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"You think you've seen it all, no, I've never seen anything like that".

"Jane Brister, of the wildlife group Fauna Rescue said:'She had a lot of knocks on her upper back which is a sign a joey was clinging to her back".

It is thought the koala nestled in behind a wheel of the vehicle sometime on Saturday before she was discovered later that night.

The man immediately called the koala hotline, which asked firefighters to help rescue the animal.

That's when Ms Brister realised that the koala - a mother - was missing her joey because "She was lactating". "It would have been hot in there", Brister told Reuters. But her little one was not found anywhere.

After a couple of days of feeding in captivity, it was released back into the wild.

"I could see her behind the wheel but I had no idea, until we got the wheel off, whether she had broken limbs or what the story was", she said.

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

The koala has been deemed a vulnerable species and there are as few as 100,000 left in the world.

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