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SYDNEY - Timberwolf the koala was lucky to be alive Monday after surviving a terrifying 88-kilometre (54.5-mile) ride down a busy Australian freeway clinging to the bottom of a car. Credit: Thinkstock The four-year-old male, who survived with nothing more than a torn nail, was struck by the vehicle near Maryborough in Queensland state on Friday. The Australia Zoo wildlife hospital said it latched onto the bottom of the car as it sped away, with the family inside not knowing they had a marsupial on board. It was only when they stopped in Gympie after a high-speed freeway drive that they noticed it, and called the hospital for help. The maximum speed on the freeway is 110 kilometres per...

In Poland, Hedgehogs Find a Saviour

KRAKõW, Poland - Too weak to stand on his feet after swallowing poison for garden slugs, Smoky the hedgehog is fighting for his life. Credit: Getty Creative Thanks to a devoted Polish animal lover, he has a chance. Andrzej Kuziomski set up Poland's first and only hedgehog shelter after as a bicycle courier he came across hundreds of the small, quilled mammals that had been killed or maimed in run-ins with humans. "He hasn't eaten anything for days... He weighs less than half of what he should," the 45-year-old says as he holds Smoky, gently stroking his prickly back. The refuge on the outskirts of Krakow has space for up to 50 sick or injured hedgehogs. Driven from their habitat by...

MADRID - Would-be beachgoers near Barcelona faced a brief ban after a shark scare shut down six beaches for a day, the Red Cross said on Wednesday. Credit: Getty Creative Three small blue sharks, between one and 1.5 metres (five feet) long, were sighted by lifeguards on Tuesday, prompting two local town halls to ban bathing from their beaches. The beaches in the resorts of Premia del Mar and El Masnou near Barcelona were closed on Tuesday and reopened on Wednesday morning, a local Red Cross spokeswoman told AFP. "A surveillance patrol in boats did not find the sharks," so green flags were flying again on Wednesday indicating it was safe to bathe in the sea, the spokeswoman said. Two Red...

Authorities in Hopatcong, New Jersey, are searching for an unusual quarry: a 20-foot-long, rogue boa constrictor. Many residents have spotted the snake swimming in Lake Hopatcong, so Officer Dale Sloat offered this tip as a safety precaution: "I would advise people not to put their baby in the lake." Watch the video below for the whole story. Share this on Facebook? MORE ON PAWNATION: Cat Gets the Hang of His Hammock Tiny Kitten Is Afraid of Moving Carpet Birthday Dog Is Surprised With 100 Balls...