Adelaide Koala Survives Death-Defying Road Trip Stuck UNDER Car Wheel

‘I could smell burnt fur’: Kelly the koala miraculously survives a death-defying road trip while she was stuck UNDER a moving car for 16 kilometres

  • A koala survived a deathly road trip after she became wedged under a car wheel
  • Kelly the koala was found tightly stuck in the wheel arch of the moving car
  • Rescuers were stunned Kelly survived the trauma, escaping with minor injuries 


A koala has miraculously survived a deathly 16 kilometre journey while she was stuck in the wheel of a car.

The koala was firmly wedged inside the wheel arch of an Adelaide driver’s car, leaving rescuers stunned.

Jane Brister from Fauna Rescue SA told Daily Mail Australia she was expecting the worst when she received the call.


‘I’ve done hundreds of rescues but nothing like that,’ Ms Brister said.

‘Upon arrival I was aware of the smell of burnt fur which added to the trauma of the situation.’

The koala, named Kelly after one of the rescuers, is believed to have been stuck under the wheel for up to an hour.


‘She was wedged in very, very tight so I got underneath car with a head torch and all I could see was a furry lump amoungst the axle,’ Ms Brister told Daily Mail Australia.

‘I could see a face and one arm.

‘I had no way of knowing whether she still had her other limbs.’


Ms Brister said the six-year-old koala was crying from distress, almost as if she was ‘telling me about it’.

After the rescue, Kelly was rushed to the nearby vet where it was discovered she once had a joey.

‘She had a lot of knocks on her upper back which is a sign a joey was clinging to her back,’ Ms Brister said.

The koala rescuer then went back out the scene in the early hours of the morning searching for the joey, but was unlucky.

‘There was blood on the inside of the wheel and she wasn’t bleeding … I didn’t find anything,’ Ms Brister said.

Despite the death defying experience, Kelly escaped with very minor injuries and was released back into the wild Friday afternoon.

Ms Brister has rescued more than 200 koalas and said 80% of the rescues are fatal, making Kelly’s survival even more remarkable.

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