Koalas are generally considered to be among the laziest animals on earth. They sleep for 75% of the day and usually spend the rest of their time eating eucalyptus leaves. So imagine how surprising it was for a group of friends who were canoeing their way down the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia, to have a koala swim toward them and try to hitch a ride.
Julie Elliott and her friends spotted the koala on the shore and figured it would quickly go back into the woods. Instead, the koala hopped in the water and began swimming toward them. One friend helped the little one into their craft -- and had his arms scratched in the process. The koala seemed relaxed as it took a look around the canoe.
Elliott did not want to take the marsupial away from its habitat, so afterward the group took their new buddy back to land. What was meant to be a normal canoe trip turned into a day the group will never forget. Elliott told Britain's Daily Mail, "I've been paddling along that particular creek for the best part of 10 years and never seen anything like a swimming koala before."
Koalas do not normally swim. In fact, wildlife experts say that while koalas can swim, they often drown when they fall into swimming pools because once their fur becomes waterlogged, it's hard for them to swim. So it's a good thing the canoeists were not afraid to help the little guy out of the water and bring him aboard.
- Swimming & Diving