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Look Who Turned Up in Australian Christmas Tree

An apparently confused koala
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 3, 2020 11:55 AM CST

(Newser) – On one side of the world, an adorable owl emerged from the Rockefeller Christmas tree. On the other side, a cute, curious koala emerged from a fake tree to startle an Australian family. Amanda McCormick was in shock after finding the koala in the living room of her home in Coromandel Valley, Adelaide, on Wednesday. Her 16-year-old daughter, Taylah, had departed three hours earlier after leaving a door open for the family dog. While it was open, the koala apparently snuck inside and into the family's plastic Christmas tree. McCormick arrived home to find decorations all over the floor. "I looked and straight in my face was this beautiful, little gorgeous koala," she tells ABC Australia. "I thought one of my kids may have put like a soft toy in there," she adds, per the Guardian. "But no, it was a live one."

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Even an operator for the Adelaide and Hills Koala Rescue's hotline didn't believe the story initially. "The operator at first thought it was a prank call," co-founder Dee Hearne-Hellon tells the Guardian. "Apparently it took a little bit of convincing." Photographic evidence seems to have helped, though Taylah says her own friends didn't believe the marsupial was real even after they were shown videos. "I had to get it blinking a couple of times to prove it [was real]," she says. The healthy female juvenile, thought to be 3 or 4 years old, was eventually detangled from the tree's Christmas lights—with much growling, per ABC—and moved to a suitable area outside, where it was observed Thursday, per CNN. Luckily, McCormick's Christmas wasn't scarred. "After a bad year, it was nice to have that," she tells the Guardian. (Read more Australia stories.)

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