Only in Australia: Koala clings to inner wheel in 16-kilometre adventure

A koala has survived a journey through the Adelaide Hills into the city itself after clinging to the inside of a wheel.

The marsupial was only discovered when the driver reached his destination – and heard crying coming from under the bonnet. When he tried to work out the source of the noise, he spotted the koala clinging onto the inside of his wheel.

The koala was eventually coaxed out of her hideaway after local fire and rescue services arrived and removed the car’s wheel, before convincing it to come out. The driver had no idea how the koala got in there, saying that he hadn’t hit anything and that he hadn’t noticed it when he got in the car.

The koala was named Kelly after one of the rescue workers who helped free her. While a subsequent examination by a vet showed that she was fine, there was also some sad news as it emerged that she’d lost a joey somewhere on the journey.

Despite searching far and wide, the rescuers were unable to find the missing joey.

After spending a week in animal care, Kelly has been released into a bushy forest well away from the city – and hopefully well away from the highway.

This is not the first time a koala got stuck in a moving vehicle. In 2015, an Adelaide Hills koala survived getting hit by a car moving at 100 kilometres per hour. It was only found some 10 kilometres later stuck to the grill. The animal was nicknamed ‘Bear Grylls’ for being such a survivor, before getting released back into the wild.