Australia's Luckiest Koala: Hit by a Car and Hung On To It From Maryborough to Gympie

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A South Australian policeman offers a drink of water to a koala at the side of the road
A South Australian policeman offers a drink of water to a koala at the side of the road in Adelaide January 16, 2014. Reuters

Timber Wolf, a male koala, being considered Australia's luckiest koala, was hit by a car on the Bruce Highway on July 25 and then hung on to the car grille for a span of 88 kilometres and survived.

The koala suffered just a few scratches on his nose and is also said to be missing a toenail after his wild ride from Maryborough to Gympie. A Commodore, south of Maryborough, is said to have hit the koala, to which Timber hung on to until Gympie, 2 a.m. local time in Australia. The car had stopped to refuel at Brucy Highway Shell service station at Gympie until which time the koala had hung on to the car grille in front of the car.

A vet in Gympie, Dr. Groff Collyer, who treated the koala, said that the driver was aware that he had something but wasn't sure what and so he kept driving. When he did realise what had happened an hour later, he tried to run away. The survival of the four-year-old koala bear is considered 'incredible'.

The vet explained that initially, when the koala was picked up, it was trying to get away, in a way that seemed like struggle, but none of his arms or legs were broken. Painkillers that act as sedation were immediately administered to him. 

Later, the koala was taken to Wildlife Hospital in Australia's zoo on the Sunshine Coast where he was issued a diagnosis of chlamydia apart from which he received a clean bill of health.

Another vet at the zoo, Dr. Amber Gillet, said that a complete and thorough examination showed that a few abrasions on the nose and a missing toe were the only things the koala suffered. She explained that the biggest problem they faced at the zoo was trying to figure out his home range. They are trying to track his exact location before he landed at Maryborough.

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