An Australian family was in for a surprise when they returned home to find an unusual decoration on their Christmas tree – a koala bear! Now, the photo of the marsupial has netizens swooning online.
An Adelaide family’s Christmas tree had an unexpected visitor, initially thought to be a stuffed toy, clinging onto it. However, on closer inspection, homeowner Amanda McCormick was surprised to find out that it wasn’t a stuffed toy but a real Koala from the Coromandel Valley woods, where their house is located.
Confused what to do with the adorable guest – whom she introduced as her ‘new mate, Daphne’ on Instagram – McCormick called up the local animal helpline for assistance.
However, after the family rang up the Adelaide and Hills Koala Rescue, the operator at 1300KOALAZ thought someone was pulling a prank on them.
“But no, a koala desperate to get in the Christmas spirit had wandered into Amanda McCormick’s house and decided it wanted to be the fairy on the Christmas tree,” the organisation wrote on Facebook while sharing two photos.
McCormick’s daughter, Taylah, who first noticed the animal, said it was their dog who started sniffing around the artificial tree that raised concern. “It was pretty tangled up in the lights. It was a fake tree and very old but she still tried eating the leaves off it … I saw her munch down on some but she stopped when she realised it was plastic,” 16-year-old girl told The Guardian.
“We’ve had them in our trees before but not inside on our Christmas tree … It must have crawled in when the doors were open, it would have been in our house for at least three hours,” Amanda told the news outlet.
Two rescue team members arrived and tried their best to remove the juvenile koala without doing damage to the tree, but Amanda kept assuring them the tree didn’t matter. “She didn’t want to leave actually, they had a bit of a fight trying to get her off the tree. I think she was quite comfortable,” she told ABC News.
The female koala was rescued and returned to its natural habit outside before giving the family a memorable experience. “Koalas are very curious creatures and if the opportunity presents itself, they will investigate,” the team told 9News. “We have rescued koalas in chicken coops, bathrooms, open inspections, children’s prams, bicycles, brooms, toy cars…but a Christmas tree is a first for us,” they said.
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