Koala rescued after 5-car pileup on Australian freeway

Canberra: A koala has been rescued after causing a five-car pileup while trying to cross a six-lane freeway in southern Australia.

###

Police said the crash in heavy Monday morning traffic in the city of Adelaide caused some injuries but no one required an ambulance.

###

The animal’s rescuer said she got out of her car to investigate what had caused the pileup. Nadia Tugwell, with her coat in hand, teamed up with a stranger clutching a blanket in a bid to capture the marsupial. A concrete highway divider had blocked the koala’s crossing.

######

“The koala was absolutely not damaged in any way,” Tugwell said. “It was very active, but very calm.”

###

Once the koala was in her trunk, Tugwell drove to a gas station to turn the animal over to wildlife rescuers. In the interim, the koala was able to climb from the trunk into her SUV’s cabin.

###

“It decided to come to the front toward me, so I said, `OK, you stay here. I’ll get out,”’ she said.

###

“It started sitting for a while on the steering wheel: (as if ) saying: `let’s go for a drive,’ and that’s when I started taking photos,” she added.

###

Tugwell said she had learned from past experience how to calm koalas by covering their eyes. She lives near a eucalyptus forest outside Adelaide and has twice called animal handlers to rescue koalas injured in fights with other koalas.

###

“I live up in the hills, and if you let them do what they want to do and you don’t chase them or something, they’re OK,” Tugwell said.

###

The leather trimmings of her luxury vehicle were scratched by the animal, but Tugwell said the happy ending was well worth the damage.

###

The koala later was released in a forest – well away from the freeway.

Leave A Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *