Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Koala survives 60-mph impact, 7 miles in grille

Marsupial bounces back from shock after he's cut from front of vehicle

'CANBERRA, Australia - A koala that cheated death after being hit by a car at about 60 mph and dragged with his head jammed through the vehicle grille for about 7 miles is being dubbed Australia's luckiest marsupial.

The eight-year-old male koala, named "Ely 'Lucky' Grills" by rescuers, was struck by an unwitting motorist north of Brisbane and found only when the car stopped after being flagged down by another vehicle.

"To have him survive and virtually unscathed is quite miraculous," Australian Wildlife Hospital spokeswoman Carolyn Beaton told Reuters on Tuesday.

"Lucky" hung on during his ordeal with one arm and his trapped head, and was freed with household scissors used like a fireman's "jaws-of-life" to cut around the car's mesh grille with the horrified owner's permission, Beaton said.

"Whilst Lucky was in shock, he quickly recovered and was nearly better after a couple of hours rest and a feed," she said.

Lucky will stay at the hospital, set up by the late television wildlife and crocodile crusader Steve Irwin, for 45 days to recover from his experience and receive treatment for a chlamydial infection.'

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