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Dublin: 18°C Wednesday 29 June 2022

Koala rescued after causing five-car pileup in Australia

Thankfully no-one was badly injured.

The koala pictured after the incident
The koala pictured after the incident
Image: Nadia Tugwell/AP/PA Images

A KOALA HAS been rescued after causing a five-car pileup while trying to cross a six-lane motorway in 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 divider had blocked the koala from crossing the road.

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

Once the koala was in her boot, Tugwell drove to a petrol station to hand the animal over to wildlife rescuers.

During the trip, the koala was able to climb from the boot 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.

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8e799acf-9c9c-4f33-a767-a5d4ebe67c0b The koala was released and headed straight for a eucalyptus tree Source: Nadia Tugwell/AP/PA Images

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,” she said.

The leather trimmings of her luxury car 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 motorway.

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