Koala held on inside car's wheel well for 10 miles

The koala was discovered inside the wheel arch of an Adelaide driver's car

A koala is alive after a driver unknowingly drove for about 10 miles while the animal clung to the inside of his car's wheel arch, animal officials said.

After seeing the koala in the wheel arch, the driver immediately called animal rescuers who removed the wheel and eventually extricated the frightened animal.

Ms Brister is a long serving wildlife rescue officer with Fauna Rescue of South Australia's Koala and is a koala specialist. "It would have been hot in there".

Jane Brister from Fauna Rescue SA told Daily Mail Australia she was expecting the worst when she received the call. There, she was found to be in surprisingly good health, with only minor injuries.

But, sadly, her team realized that Kelli was lactating and that the fur on her back was ruffled in a pattern that suggested a joey (baby koala) was holding on to her.

Ms Brister said that even though she knew what to expect it was still a shock to arrive and see a koala wedged inside the wheelwell seated on the axle as if it were a tree fork.

Koala population sizes are hard to gauge, but the species is listed as vulnerable on the Red List of Threatened Species, with an estimated decline of 28 percent. Habitat destruction, disease, brushfires and cars are the main threats to the little tree dwellers.

A koala has been released back into the wild after enduring a 16-kilometre nightmare clinging onto the suspension of a four-wheel drive in the Adelaide Hills.

If you find a koala in South Australia who needs help, the 24-hour hotline is 1300-KOALAS.

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