An Australian family came home to discover an unusual addition to their Christmas tree – a koala!
Needless to say, the McCormick family was surprised to find the koala hanging onto their artificial tree.
Taylah, 16, told the The Guardian Australia that the animal was “pretty tangled up in the lights” and was trying to eat the leaves. “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 realized it was plastic,” she told the newspaper.
Mom, Amanda, didn’t believe her child at first, thinking the animal was a plush toy. But after realizing it was no joke she immediately called the local animal rescue centre Adelaide and Hills Koala Rescue. The person who answered the McCormick’s call thought it was a joke at first too.
“This evening our hotline operator took a call. At first she thought she was the victim of a prank call,” Adelaide and Hills Koala Rescue wrote in a Facebook post on Wednesday. “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.”
“Amanda was not so sure and rang 1300KOALAZ for help,” the rescue recounted. “Thanks Amanda for the great pictures and making sure this little koala got its wish, even if it was just for a short while.”
The rescuers came to the house to take “Daphne” away and put her back with the real trees. Co-founder Dee Hearne-Hellon told the Guardian that the young koala was likely curious about the tree and came in to take a closer look.
For the McCormick family it’s been a thrill and Taylah said that people can hardly believe it is real and remark ‘This is a true Aussie Christmas.”
This is not the first unusual animal rescue this holiday season. A little owl was found stowed away in the Rockefeller Centre Christmas tree in New York.