It looks like everyone is trying to get into the Christmas mood this year – even. An Australian family was greatly surprised this week to discover that a koala had wandered into their home and climbed into their Christmas tree.
“Well, that’s what you don’t see every day,” Amanda McCormick wrote in a Facebook post on Wednesday. “We just got home to a real koala on our Christmas tree in our living room!”
McCormick posted photos on Facebook of a curious creature nestled among the tree’s ornaments and looking pleased with his new perch in Coromandel Valley, South Australia, at home.
In a comment to the post, he explained that the family had left the back door open so their dog could get in and out in the morning. “The little girl must have just wandered in and felt at home!” McCormick wrote.
Until the, nicknamed Daphne, may have been a cute addition to the tree, the animal certainly could not stay there. So McCormick called the volunteer-led koala rescue organization, 1300KOALAZ.
The organization said when its hotline operator received the call about the holiday, he thought they were joking.
“It’s not uncommon for koalas to migrate to people’s homes, but it does happen at times. They live on the outskirts of Adelaide now, that’s how it will happen,” Dee Hearne-Hellon, co-founder of the organization, told CBS News. “We’ve never had a koala in the Christmas tree before, certainly for us first.”
Hearne-Hellon told CBS News that the group’s two volunteer rescuers had recovered the koala from the tree’s festive spot “in just a few minutes”.
McCormick posted a Facebook video of the rescue in which volunteers carefully approached the creature and even gave the animal some beatings. “Very calm,” McCormick said in the video.
The volunteers placed a towel over the koala and began to move it, causing it to growl. They then carefully lifted the creature off the tree and into a carrier.
The koala female, nicknamed Daphne by the family, is about 3-4 years old, Hearne-Hellon said. The little creature was healthy and was immediately released outside into a large rubber tree owned by the family.
Hearne-Hellon said koalas in homes should be left alone, “because they can be quite aggressive when confronted.” He suggested people call a local rescue team for help if they ever meet a koala in their house.