Lucky koala survives highway ride

Posted: August 18, 2010 in Uncategorized

A lucky koala has cheated death after it was hit by a car in Victoria’s southwest.

PHOTOS: Koala’s white-knuckle road trip

The vehicle struck the fully grown male koala near Narrawong after leaving the town of Portland, about 360km west of Melbourne, in late March.

The driver, who was travelling at about 80km/h, hit the brakes before collecting the animal with his Ford Falcon on the Princes Highway.

Assuming the animal was dead, he was stunned to find the koala very much alive and wedged in the car’s front grill.

The shocked marsupial was trapped just under the licence plate with its front paws and head hanging out the front of the vehicle.

The driver phoned Portland’s after-hours veterinary service before driving 15 cautious kilometres at low speed back into town.

Local veterinarian Lisia Sturm was astounded to find the animal had survived without a scratch.

“It looked quite surprised — if koalas can look surprised,” Dr Sturm told ninemsn.

“It had its bum wedged right in there meaning it couldn’t get out.

“But he was a big boy and looked really healthy. He didn’t have any injuries at all — not even a graze.”

The koala was cut from the grill with bolt cutters.

It was kept under observation for the rest of the day before being released back into its prior habitat later that afternoon.

Dr Sturm said the koala’s amazing escape showed it was important for drivers to stop and examine an animal following an accident before seeking veterinarian treatment.



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