Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Curious koala surprises tourists by climbing into their bed

Three tourists received an amusing surprise when they discovered a koala bear wandering around their beachside holiday home on a tropical island off far north eastern Australia, trying out different beds to sleep in. The curious marsupial had become confused after climbing down from a nearby tree and clambering onto the wooden veranda, looking for a place to rest his head. The Australian women,aged in their 40s, had traveled to Magnetic Island, off the coast of Townsville, from their home in Victoria, southern Australia, for a weekend break and had just entered their holiday home when they discovered their surprise visitor on Friday afternoon.
It wandered around the balcony before climbing on to a bed covered with a rather garish blue and pink floral duvet, where the koala settled in for a while. The women called the ranger at the nearby Bungalow Bay Koala Village — a local backpacker resort which doubles as a wildlife park — to find out what to do. "They called and said, ‘this is not a prank but there’s a koala who just walked into our house and is sleeping on our bed’," Bungalow Bay ranger Clifford Harman said. "I couldn’t believe it, I’ve seen them in the wild and I’ve heard them climbing into cars and stuff, but not on a bed." Mr Harman, 23, a backpacker from Canada who is volunteering at Bungalow Bay in exchange for free accommodation and work as a koala tour guide, called the local government parks and wildlife officers who came to rescue the animal. "They came and took him away to set him free in the wild up at one of the spots where lots of the koalas live," Mr Harman said.

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