KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 3 — Christmas came early for one Australian family when they came home to a wild koala that perched itself on their beautifully decorated tree.
The unexpected live ornament turned up at the McCormicks’ home in Coromandel Valley, Adelaide yesterday while they were out, The Guardian reported.
Sixteen-year-old Taylah who was the last to leave the house had made sure she closed the back door, turned off all the lights and that the dog was outside.
But when the family returned home, Taylah’s mum Amanda sensed something was amiss when the dog began sniffing around the Christmas tree.
“There were baubles all over the floor and she looked up and there was a koala in the tree,” Taylah told the daily.
The adorable marsupial even tried snacking on the tree’s plastic leaves while she was tangled up in the twinkling 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 realised it was plastic,” said Taylah.
Her mother Amanda thought her kids had placed a soft toy in the tree as part of a prank.
“We’ve had them in our trees before but not inside on our Christmas tree.
“It must have crawled in when the doors were open, it would have been in our house for at least three hours,” Amanda said.
The McCormicks quickly rang the Adelaide and Hills Koala Rescue and they too thought it was a joke.
“The call went through to our 24-hour hotlines and of course the operator at first thought it was a prank call,” co-founder Dee Hearne-Hellon said.
“Apparently it took a little bit of convincing that, no, Amanda really did have a koala in her Christmas tree.
“It was just so gorgeous, seeing it sitting there just looking.”
The rescuers arrived soon after to detangle the koala which Taylah had named Daphne.
Daphne was a juvenile female around three or four years old and was reported to be in good health, according to Hearne-Hellon.
The adorable marsupial and her Christmas spirit has been making rounds on social media after the McCormicks’ teen daughter posted a TikTok clip that has since been viewed over 113,000 times at the time of writing.
— Matilda Boseley (@MatildaBoseley) December 3, 2020
The family’s social media platforms have been inundated with messages after posting pictures of Daphne – many found the story hard to believe.
Hearne-Hellon thinks the koala wandered into their home because it liked the way their tree looked.
“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,” she said.
The rescue team released Daphne into a tree in a nearby bushy area which Taylah captured in a second TikTok clip.
The McCormicks said they will be looking out for the cute koala from now on.
“It was a very memorable experience,” Amanda said.
“After a bad year, it was nice to have that.”