Custom Search

Monday, August 27, 2012

Canoe give me a lift? Fearless koala paddles across a river and climbs aboard a passing boat

•The bears do not normally swim but it glided 20 yards across the water
•Climbed aboard a boat and sailed down river before going ashore

By Richard Shears

They are regarded as one of the laziest animals on earth, for koalas do little more than sleep away in the tree tops.

But the cuddly creature that canoeist Julie Elliott came face to face with as she paddled down a creek on Queensland’s Gold Coast was anything but a idle plaything.

As Miss Elliott and her friends travelled along the creek in a couple of canoes they spotted the koala on an embankment about 20 yards away.

They expected it to watch them for a while before heading back into the bushes – but not this fellow.

Scroll down for video

You can make it! The koala shows off its aquatic skills as he paddles like a dog through the river towards a dry land on a passing canoe

Hitching a ride: The cuddly bear clambers aboard the boat and quickly finds a seat from which it can relax and enjoy the river cruise

For it slid into the water and started swimming to Miss Elliott’s canoe.

Getting over her initial astonishment, she grabbed her mobile phone and started filming the koala as it dog-paddled across the creek, straight to her canoe.

Reaching the craft, it lifted its paws and tried to clamber aboard, but the effort proved too much until Miss Elliott’s companion grabbed it and hauled it into the canoe.

The koala would normally be found whiling away the hours slouching on a tree top but here it decides on a new adventure and dip its claws into the water

Splash: The normally-lazy bears plunges into the cool waters and goes for a swim

With his tiny eyes and nose poking through the water and leg paddling like mad below the surface, the koala heads towards the passing canoe

There's a large amount of water still surrounding the creature, and it's still touch and go as to whether its legs will carry him far enough across the river to safety

The canoeist received a few scratches but didn’t notice the pain as, like Miss Elliott, he watched in astonishment as the koala clambered onto a seat and made himself at home.

‘Of course we couldn’t sail away down the creek with him because we’d be taking him out of its environment,’ Miss Elliott said today before flying off for a canoeing holiday in Canada.

‘So after a short time during which we just sat and stared at our unexpected crew member we paddled back to the embankment and lifted him back onto solid ground.

‘I’ve been paddling along that particular creek for the best part of 10 years and never seen anything like a swimming koala before.

He's made it! The bear climbs aboard the two-man boat and takes its place in the centre. Canoeist Julie Elliott let the animal enjoy the ride for a short while before dropping it off on the shore

Koala's very rarely swim, and often drown after falling into pools. This little fellow seems at home gliding through the water

Land ahoy: Like a salty-sea dog, the koala looks out over the rails after briefly commandeering the vessel

'The little fellow was taking a big risk swimming to our canoe because if we’d sailed on, or had been too worried about hauling him on board with those long claws of his, he might not have made it back to the bank.

‘But it turned out well for him and for all of us in the canoes – he really made our day.’

Wildlife experts say that while it is known that koalas can swim, it is not a regular occurrence. When their thick coats become waterlogged swimming because a difficult task for them, say the experts.

Koalas have been found dead in home swimming pools in parts of Queensland after they have fallen in while looking for water to drink. If there are no steps, they have no chance of getting out.



Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Powered by Blogger