Sept. 17 (UPI) — A koala in Australia survived a lengthy trip while clinging to the axle of a four-wheel drive vehicle.
The driver was unaware of the koala clinging to his wheel throughout the 10-mile journey through Adelaide until he stopped his car after being flagged down by other motorists.
He then heard the animal’s cries coming from underneath the vehicle and called the Koala Rescue Hotline, which sent rescuer Jane Brister to the scene.
Brister then contacted Metropolitan Fire Service to help remove the vehicle’s wheel to free the koala.
“I could smell her burnt fur,” Brister told The Guardian. “It would have been hot in there.”
Don Bigham, from Fauna Rescue of South Australia’s Koala Hotline, said the female koala was relatively unharmed.
“The koala was taken into care, and apparently it came out of all this very healthy, surprisingly so,” he said.
While rushing the koala to the vet, Brister discovered she was lactating and likely missing a joey, or infant.
“I searched that night and the next day, and the next, but I never found it,” she said.
After being fed in captivity for a few days the mother koala was released back into the wild.