Koala Surprises Paddlers by Swimming Out to Their Canoe

More on PawNation: Awesome, Exotic, Koalas, Swimming, Talented, The Dish, Weird
Tired of being called lazy, one koala took a break from its 20-hour sleep schedule to surprise a few canoers. According to the (U.K.) Daily Mail, the Aussie critter went for a dip, jumping into a Queensland, Gold Coast creek and paddling out to meet one of the canoes.

Julie Elliott is one of the lucky rowers who witnessed the animal's Michael Phelps impression. She first spied the creature on the bank and figured it would scamper off soon after being spotted. Instead, the koala decided to introduce himself, and swam out toward his admirers.

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The koala soon reached Elliott's boat, and tried to pull itself up into the craft. Instead of letting it struggle, one of Elliot's companions lifted the animal into the canoe and allowed it to have a look around. After everyone had their fill of the unusual sight, the rowers provided the marsupial a lift back to land.

"Of course we couldn't sail away down the creek with him because we'd be taking him out of its environment," Elliott told the Daily Mail. "So after a short time during which we just sat and stared at our unexpected crew member, we paddled back to the embankment and lifted him back onto solid ground. I've been paddling along that particular creek for the best part of 10 years and never seen anything like a swimming koala before."

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While the man who grabbed the koala received a few scratches, wildlife experts say it is a good thing he decided to lend a paw. Koalas aren't used to swimming, and can easily drown from the unfamiliar exertion. Thankfully, everyone left the bizarre encounter a little soggy, but safe.

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