Lauren Davis was driving along a strip of Adelaide’s South Eastern Freeway at night when she hit a koala sitting in the road.
“There were cars beside me, and I couldn’t change lanes,” she explained. “I slammed on the brakes, and the car behind me had to swerve.”
Unable to pull over on the freeway in the dark, she continued her trip home. When she arrived and got out of her car in the garage, she discovered – much to her surprise – that the koala had not only survived the 100km/h (62mph) impact but had been safely lodged between her bumper and the body of the vehicle for the entire ten-minute drive.
Luckily, the little fellow suffered only minor scratches.
“I was quite upset when I got home,” she said, afraid she had hurt him. “But I was glad he was okay.”
Ms Davis put down blankets for the koala and called Fauna Rescue to come help dislodge the large marsupial. But he had pulled himself out before they got there.
Volunteer Don Bigham attended the home to rescue the koala.
“He’s fine, in fact,” Bigham said with a laugh. “He did surprisingly well. He has very small abrasions. He’s out in the aviary but will be released soon. The koala was very lucky.”
September is Koala Awareness Month and one of Fauna Rescue’s busiest times of the year as koalas begin to look for mates, moving around the land more than usual. Many of them get hit by cars, but most don’t survive.
“He is a very large male,” Bigham said, explaining how the koala’s large size may have contributed to its survival when it was hit. “He’s big and healthy.”
The volunteer reports that the large koala has gone to the vet to get an ear tag and after that will be taken back to the area he came from.