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Watch: Koala survives 16-km road trip trapped in 4x4's wheel arch

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Watch: Koala survives 16-km road trip trapped in 4x4's wheel arch

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A koala survived a 16-kilometre road trip in Australia clinging to the axle of a four-wheel drive vehicle.

The female koala had crawled into the wheel arch while the car was parked in the hills on the outskirts of Adelaide, the state capital of South Australia.

The driver stopped after hearing the cries of the traumatised animal.

The fire brigade was eventually called to take the wheel off in order to help a wildlife rescue worker free the animal.

“I could smell her burnt fur,” Jane Brister, from Fauna Rescue, told Reuters in a phone interview on Saturday. “It would have been hot in there.”

After a couple of days of feeding in captivity, Brister released the koala back into the wild.

Koalas, often inaccurately described as ‘bears’, are marsupials, an order of mammals whose young are suckled in a pouch.

The koala was listed as a ‘vulnerable’ species under an Australian conservation law in 2012.
There are fewer than 100,000 of the animals left in the wild, perhaps even as few as 43,000, according to Australian Koala Foundation estimates.