Koala Survives 10-Mile Trip in Truck's Wheel Well in Australia
We're not sure how many lives koalas have exactly, but it's undeniable this little fuzzy gal used one of hers up earlier this month after surviving a 10-mile trip in a truck's wheel well by clinging to the suspension assembly until the driver reached his destination in Adelaide, Australia, according to the Associated Press.
Other motorists reportedly tried to warn the driver about the adorable stowaway, but he didn't notice anything amiss from behind the wheel, only to make the shocking discovery once he exited the truck and heard some "unusual" cries coming from the wheel well. He immediately called a koala rescue group, which in turn called the Metropolitan Fire Service to extricate the wayward marsupial.
There was only one problem—the new SUV was equipped with locking lug nuts, and the owner didn't have the key. So the firefighters used some "subtle engineering" to get the wheel off without harming the koala, according to Don Bigham of Fauna Rescue South. Another member of the rescue group told ABC News it was a "shock" to see the animal resting on the axle "as if it were a tree fork."
Amazingly, apart from a few scratches and being covered in grease, the koala was miraculously unharmed. Unfortunately, rescuers also discovered evidence that she had had a baby recently, but were unable to locate the joey after several days of searching. The six-year-old koala, named "Kelli" by the firefighters, was released on Saturday after a week of recovery.
“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,” another Fauna Rescue worker said.
It's not the first time that koalas and cars have tangled Down Under—not even close. Two years ago, an unlucky (or extremely lucky) koala ended up trapped in the grille of a Mitsubishi for more than five miles after being struck at around 60 miles per hour on the highway, somehow escaping without injury. Sound familiar?