One Australian family was in for quite a surprise when they returned home to find their Christmas tree had been redecorated.
“There was baubles all over the floor … and she looked up and there was a koala in the tree,” Taylah McCormick told The Guardian.
When Taylah, 16, left the McCormick’s home near Adelaide around 3pm she made sure the dog was inside, the doors shut, and all the lights were off.
So the family was in for quite a surprise when they arrived home about three hours later and it appeared that someone had been inside and had paid particular attention to their fake Christmas tree.
“I think the dog went straight to the Christmas tree and was sniffing around and Mum thought that was a bit weird,” the teen said.
That’s when she noticed the culprit: a koala.
“It was pretty tangled up in the lights. 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.”
Amanda McCormick, Taylah’s mom, couldn’t believe her eyes.
“I thought ‘Is this a joke?’ I thought one of my kids may have put like a soft toy in there, but no, it was a live one.”
They immediately called Adelaide and Hills Koala Rescue for assistance, but Dee Hearne-Hellon, co-founder of the rescue, said initially they thought it was a “prank call.”
“…of course the operator at first thought it was a prank call.”
But it was not a prank call. There was in fact a koala in the McCormick’s Christmas tree.
Hearne-Hellon guesses that the young female koala wandered into the family’s home because it noticed the tree.
“It’s not actually that hot, so they wouldn’t be seeking shade, particularly at the moment … They are curious, and they are in the suburbs, and if they see something that they want to have a look at they’ll just drop in and have a look.”
The koala was released in front of the home.
While it may be tempting to remove or even play with a koala if you happen to find one in your home, Hearne-Hellon said it’s best to leave that up to the professionals.
“(The) best thing to do is leave them alone as they can get aggressive and call 1300koalaz to remove them,” she said. “As cute as they look they have very long claws and very sharp teeth,” Hearne-Hellon told CNN.
Can you imagine returning home and finding a koala in your Christmas tree?
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