A group of paddlers got a big surprise during on a trip along Australia's Gold Coast when a koala swam out to their canoe and tried to climb in.
Everyone knows koalas spend most of their time lazing away in the tops of trees, so you can imagine the group's surprise when they saw one wading into the creek and then swimming out to them. They gave the little guy a hand and helped him into the canoe, not always a smart move since they can be vicious fighters.
Julie Elliot tells Nine News, "It took a sip of water and then saw us and obviously decided to come straight over. Then it started clawing at the boat and we didn't know what to do. We were thinking it was going to drown so my mate behind me just grabbed him and put him straight in the boat."
The canoeist received a few scratches but tells the Daily Mail he didn’t notice the pain as they watched their new passenger settle in.
The BBC reports that experts suspect the animal may have felt trapped on a tidal bank and decided that hitching a ride on the passing canoe was the best way to escape.
Elliot says after a short visit with their new friend they paddled back to the embankment and put hm back on solid ground. "Of course we couldn’t sail away down the creek with him because we’d be taking him out of its environment." She adds, "I’ve been paddling along that particular creek for the best part of 10 years and never seen anything like a swimming koala before."