Koala rides 16km trapped behind wheel until driver hears her cry

Elias Hubbard
September 16, 2017

The koala was discovered inside the wheel arch of an Adelaide driver's auto.

Upon realising something was amiss, the driver called Fauna Rescue of South Australia's Koala, a 24-hour hotline in a desperate bid for help.

The driver had driven from his home in the Adelaide Hills district to the city, a trip he estimated to be almost 16 kilometres, according to Brister.

A koala has been released back into the wild after miraculously surviving a 16 kilometre trip clinging onto the underside of a vehicle wheel arch.

After the wheel was removed, the koala was "really wedged in there tight and hanging on for dear life", Jane Brister from Fauna Rescue said.

"Early in his journey, an oncoming driver flashed his lights at him, and so he thought there must be something wrong with his auto", Brister said.

A koala went on a terrifying 16-kilometre ride while clinging "very, very tight" to the axel of a four-wheel drive in Adelaide.

"She had been feeding recently and when they have a bigger back riding joey they leave little knots, they knot up all the fur on their mum's back from holding on and she had that on her back", Ms Brister said.

Kelly was spotted peeking out from the underside of the truck when the driver reached his destination.

Experts said it is not unusual for koalas to take refuge in unusual places.

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

Emergency services attended to the scene to rescue the koala from behind the tyre.

But sadly that's when it became clear Kelli was missing a joey.

"But unfortunately we weren't able to find the baby joey".

"Once we got the wheel off she was very frightened".

The koala, named Kelly after one of the rescuers, is believed to have been stuck under the wheel for up to an hour. "But apart from that she was okay, she was just in shock".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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