June 2, 2009

Tourists find koala napping in bed

Three Australian women vacationing on an island off the coast of the mainland said they were shocked when a koala chose their hotel room bed for a nap.

The Victoria, southern Australia, women told authorities that they arrived at their vacation home on Magnetic Island and discovered the marsupial wandering around the home's balcony, The Times of London reported Tuesday.

The koala entered the home from the balcony and settled for a nap on a bed covered with a blue and pink floral duvet. The women called rangers at the nearby Bungalow Bay Koala Village, a backpacking resort and wildlife preserve.

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, 23, 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.

Harman said locals are familiar with the koala, a young male.

Our head ranger recognized him from the photos and said it was one that had been born in a tree outside our park about four years ago, Harman said. He was quite ecstatic to find out it was the same koala and that he was a happy and healthy little thing.

He said wildlife officers took custody of the napping 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, Harman said.