A koala survived a 10-mile journey stuck under a car’s wheel arch until the driver stopped and heard the distressed animal’s cries.
The driver of the vehicle was unaware of the extra passenger until they heard unusual cries coming from their car, according to the South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service.
After spotting the animal in the wheel arch, the driver, who wasn’t identified, immediately called animal rescuers. They were able to remove the wheel and eventually got the frightened koala out.
“It’s amazing and it’s a windy road, it’s downhill, so the car would’ve been lurching from side to side,” said Dave Juniper with the South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service. “She was crying a little bit, she was a little bit shaken, she was certainly in shock but I rushed her straight to the vet.”
The animal was covered in grease but only had superficial injuries.
They named the koala “Kelli” after one of the firefighters who led the rescue.
Kelli was reportedly released back to the bush on Saturday after being monitored for a week.
“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,” Juniper said.
Rescue workers said it wasn’t out of the ordinary for koalas to seek shelter in unusual places.