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A koala is lucky to be alive after crossing a South Australian freeway following a large car pile up.
A woman slowed as she was approaching the commotion on Adelaide's South Eastern Freeway yesterday morning.
As Nadia Tugwell waited for emergency services to clean up the mess and treat anyone who was injured, she noticed the small koala amongst the vehicles.
She told ABC radio: "I was minding my own business and next minute I see a little koala between the cars and the concrete barrier, right near me.
"Then I saw a lady running after it with a blanket trying to catch it."
Two people placed it in the back of Ms Tugwell's SUV, even though she 'wasn't prepared to save a koala'.
7News reports the koala ran onto the road and caused all the drivers to slam on their brakes.
Six vehicles were involved in the big car pile-up and one person was taken to hospital with a sore neck from the impact of crash.
After organising a drop-off with Adelaide Koala Rescue, Ms Tugwell pulled over at a service station to ensure the animal was okay in the boot of her car.
She continued: "I peeked over the seat and pulled the jacket back and it looked at me all cute and sweet and innocent.
"I was sitting in the driver's seat waiting for the rescuer to come, and then someone started tapping me on the shoulder.
"That was the koala trying to get between the headrest and the window onto my seat."
That's when Ms Tugwell snapped the now infamous picture of the koala at the steering wheel.
The koala was later released around one kilometre from the freeway and even though the people who saved the animal were doing it with the best of intentions, they've been warned against repeating the behaviour.
South Australia Police Inspector Damien Eichner said: "Anyone that leaves their vehicle on a busy freeway like that is placing themselves at extreme risk.
"Whilst the safety of the animal is important to us, the safety of the people is more important."
He said it was best to call the local police as they will be able to check what is the best way to save the animal.
Featured Image Credit: Nadia Tugwell
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