A wallaby has had a “miracle” escape after being hit by a car travelling through regional Australia.
During a mammoth 1000km family road trip between Bamaga, on the northern tip of Cape York, and Cairns, a Queensland driver slammed on their brakes after striking the animal on Wednesday.
The collision occurred in the town of Laura, three and a half hours and more than 300km northwest of the road-tripping family’s final destination.
A search for the tiny marsupial yielded no result, so the group thought it must have hopped away.
They continued on their trip, and stayed at a friend’s house in Cairns that night.
It wasn’t until they started their car on Thursday morning and heard something “shifting about” near the engine that they made an unusual discovery.
Wedged behind the grill of their car was a stowaway.
The wallaby had somehow survived.
‘Never come across anything like this’: RSPCA rescues wallaby
RSPCA Inspector Ben Newman told Yahoo News Australia that he received a call to help at around 7.30am.
Fearing that the animal would be severely injured or suffering from a fatal stress induced condition called myopathy, he drove across Cairns to assess the situation.
The animal was assessed as being a young agile wallaby, and with the family suspecting it had been stuck in the car for up to 12 hours, Mr Newman worked quickly to release it.
“Mate, I’ve never come across anything like this in my career,” Mr Newman said.
“To get where it did, I still don’t know how it got in there.
“It was one of those miracle cases.”
After removing a panel underneath the radiator, the RSPCA inspector worked to coax the wallaby out through the narrow gap.
“We basically just peeled that panel back and he was all sort of wrapped around himself,” Mr Newman said.
“So we had to get his tail and pull him through the bottom of the car.
“He was pretty jammed up in there but we managed to grab him out without too many dramas.”
A registered wildlife vet sedated the wallaby and gave it a thorough evaluation, finding just a few scratches and bruises and no sign of myopathy.
Wildlife experts pointed Mr Newman to an established population of agile wallabies 90 minutes north of Cairns, and he released the young animal later that afternoon.
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