‘Grilled’ koala survives hit, then 88km ride to Gympie

HE MIGHT be Australia's toughest koala ... or perhaps he's the luckiest.

Whichever it is, he's certainly one of the most determined.

This brave marsupial, hit by a car near Maryborough early Friday, clung to the car's grille for 88km - all the way to Gympie.

He was spotted hanging on, literally for dear life, when the car pulled in to a service station.

A Gympie taxi driver helped the car's occupants keep the koala from wandering onto the road and called Bent St Vet's on-duty vet Geoff Collyer.

And it was the start to an interesting day. "I had piglets, a goat, a koala and the normal dogs and cats - all creatures great and small," Dr Collyer said.

But the best of human nature prevailed. "I guess I could have said, 'No, I'm sleeping.' The people driving the car could have driven him away with a stick and kept going.

"The taxi driver could have said, 'It's not my problem' and the people at Australia Zoo (who were in the area harvesting gum leaves) could have been 'too busy', but everyone took that extra step.

"And the result is he seems to be all right," Dr Collyer said.

"(When they arrived) he climbed off and he was a bit stressed. I threw a towel over him and picked him up from behind (avoiding his claws).

"I just gave him some pain relief and wrapped him up and he de-stressed. But he was ready to take on the world when I first got there.

"The Australia Zoo people ... took him down to their animal hospital. But his blood pressure was fine and he seemed OK.

"They were great. They did it all with a smile, examined him and he wasn't bleeding.

"He's incredibly tough."

Australia Zoo staff were awaiting a vet's report.



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