Imagine driving around and suddenly hearing the sound of an animal crying and smelling burning fur coming from your vehicle. That’s exactly what happened to a driver in Adelaide, Australia.

A female koala had crawled into the wheel well of a parked car and was inadverdantly taken along for a 10 mile car ride before the driver stopped and heard the cries. The fire brigade was called to take the wheel off while a wildlife rescue worker freed the koala, who was hanging onto the suspension.

Jane Brister from Fauna Rescue said:

“I could smell her burnt fur…It would have been hot in there.”

While the koala was uninjured, she was a lactating mother with a missing joey. Brister searched for the baby but was not successful:

“I searched that night and the next day, and the next, but I never found it.”

After a few days of recovery in captivity, the koala was released back into the wild. Koalas are listed as a “vulnerable” species, and there are fewer than 100,000 left in the wild, perhaps as few as 43,000 according to the Australian Koala Foundation.

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