Some members of the Burleigh Point Outrigger Canoe Club, paddling in Tallebudgera Creek on Australia’s Gold Coast last week, got a surprise passenger in their canoe. As you can see in this video, a koala caught sight of them from the bank, jumped in the water, swam to one of the canoes and took a seat.
Club member Peter Ando, who posted the video, described the experience as “altogether a stunning, magical encounter!” and truly it is. The koala’s interest in the humans in their boats is almost palpable; the look on his face as he sits on the seat of the canoe must be seen:
Ando noted that “Kanu Koala” was “Completely at ease? with us,” especially “considering there were 12 of us in a twin hull 45ft outrigger canoe, totally mind-blowing” while the koala was “completely wild.”
The BBC comments that “although it is not unknown for the marsupials to take to the water, experts believe the animal might have felt trapped on a tidal bank in Tallebudgera Creek and decided the canoe was its best way to escape.”
Ando and the other club members did paddle back to the beach where “Kanu Koala” had swam from and set him back ashore. ”With a rather casual wiggle he ambled back into the bushes,” writes Ando.
Maybe the koala just wanted a little companionship? Or to see what it’s like to ride on water in a canoe?
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