“But no, a koala desperate to get into the Christmas mood wandered into Amanda McCormick’s house and decided she wanted to be a fairy on the Christmas tree.
Dee Hearne-Hellon, co-founder of 1300Koalaz, told CNN that it’s not unheard of for koalas to go home, but it’s not an everyday occurrence.
“The koala was a healthy juvenile female and was released from the house, which is in a really nice neighborhood for koalas if they have to live among them,” Hearne-Hellon said. “The koala was still in the same tree he decided to climb into when I saw him today (Thursday).”
The team celebrated the successful removal on Facebook with a festive performance: “The Merry Season Koalalalala Lalalala.”
However, Hearne-Hellon warned him not to try to move koalas alone.
“(The best thing to do is leave them alone, as they can become aggressive and call the 1300 koalaz to remove them,” he said. “As cute as they are, they have very long claws and very sharp teeth.”
Koalas are one of Australia’s most famous animals, but populations are under increasing threat from human impact.
Shrub fires, habitat fragmentation, vehicle collisions, and dog attacks — all of which hurt koalas — have worsened over the past decade.
This has led to a decline in the population of the species and an increase in diseases of koalas, according to research published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE at the end of October.
The number of sick koalas has increased over 30 years, while the number of sick koalas that can be released into the wild has decreased, the study says.
CNN Lauren Kent contributed to the report.