Amazingly the koala wasn't injured during the unexpected road trip.
This might be a little tough for the animal lovers out there to read but fear not, it has a happy ending. Let this also serve as a reminder to those who park their cars outside – it only takes a few seconds to do a quick walkaround of your car before departing, especially as the weather cools and animals seek a bit of warmth and shelter. That simple check can help make sure you don’t have unintended passengers on-board, like this adorably cute koala that traveled 10 miles in the wheel well of car.
The story comes from Adelaide, Australia, where wildlife is everywhere and frequently encounters human civilization, sometimes in not-so-nice ways. According to Reuters, this female koala had climbed into the wheel well of a four-wheel drive vehicle while it was parked. We can’t identify the make and model from the photos or video, but the 20-inch wheels shod with what look like street tires tells us this off-roader probably doesn’t go off road that much, which was certainly good news for the koala because a few hard bumps could’ve been disastrous.
As it was, the poor girl was clinging to the suspension behind the wheel for approximately 10 miles before the driver heard the koala’s cries. A rescue team was called, as she was understandably quite frightened and apparently didn’t want to let go. The front wheel was removed so there was clear access, and she was freed without sustaining any injuries from the ordeal, save for a bit of burnt fur that one of the rescuers could smell.
The only bad news is that the female koala was found to be lactating, and her young infant was missing. An extensive search was conducted but the baby wasn’t found. After a couple days in captivity to make sure she was okay, the koala was released back into the wild, where hopefully she’ll find other ways to get around town.
Photo credit: Jane Brister / Fauna Rescue