Sept. 27 (UPI) — An Australian man filmed his unusual encounter with a koala that wandered into a road in an area where the animals are rarely seen.
Michael Clarke, 40, of Tathra, New South Wales, said koalas are known to live in the area north of Wapengo, but are very rarely seen by their human neighbors.
“Not many people have seen them in the wild around here,” Clarke told Town & Country Magazine. “A friend of mine has lived here his whole life and never seen one.”
Clarke said he was driving to work in Bermagui just before 6 a.m. when a koala came running down the road toward his truck.
Clarke pulled over and got out his camera as he coaxed the koala into getting out of the roadway.
The video, which was posted to Facebook by Clarke’s wife, Catherine, shows the koala walking along the side of the road next to Clarke before shimmying up a tree.
“It was awesome, he wasn’t in a hurry, but looked at me and scampered up the bank,” Clarke said. “I felt a bit of disbelief, because I drive that road a lot and most of the time you are on kangaroo watch. Afterwards I felt, sort of, elation because they are so elusive.”
He said he hopes his video will warn locals to be careful of the native koalas.
“It’s good this happened, because it reassures people they are there,” he said.