After being struck by a car in Victoria's southwest seven months ago, things were not looking good for a koala named Ernie.
But you would not have known the four-year-old had suffered a grisly cut to his back, nor fractured a piece of his femur, by the way he took to a tree near the state's Brisbane Ranges National Park last week.
Zoos Victoria say Ernie was released in a private property near the park, marking his return to the wild just in time for breeding season.
He had been in care since being hit near Hamilton in November, prompting a surgery rarely performed on the native species to install two metal screws into his femur.
That was followed by months of rehabilitative care by local wildlife shelter operator Marilyn Blankley and Werribee Zoo veterinary experts.
A video of Ernie's release, distributed by Zoos Victoria, shows the koala taking a look over his shoulder while sitting below a tree before confidently hopping onto its trunk and climbing upwards.
Ms Blankley said it was a "wonderful sight".
"He looked so strong and he just totally reverted back to being an animal in the wild in an instant," she said in a statement.