Koala survives 16km ride on car axle in Adelaide, Australia

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Media caption,

The koala was rescued from under the car wheel arch

A koala has been released into the wild in Australia after recovering from a 16km (10-mile) car journey clinging to the axle of a four-wheel drive.

The female had crawled into the wheel arch of the vehicle while it was parked in the hills near the city of Adelaide last weekend.

The driver was only alerted to the marsupial's presence when he stopped and heard her traumatised cries.

Rescuers eventually came to take the wheel off and free the koala.

"I could smell her burnt fur," Jane Brister from the Fauna Rescue charity told Reuters news agency.

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
The wheel of the car had to be removed to free the animal

After a few days of resting and feeding in captivity, the animal was released into the forest.

Koalas are native to Australia and classified as a "vulnerable" species. There are fewer than 100,000 left in the wild, according to the Australian Koala Foundation.

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
After a couple of days of feeding in captivity, the koala was released back into the wild