A family in Australia was shocked to find a cute and cuddly intruder hiding inside their Christmas tree.
The McCormick family said something didn't seem right when they arrived at their house in Coromandel Valley, Adelaide, on Wednesday evening. A closer inspection of the tree revealed a young koala nestled among the branches of the fake tree - trying to eat the leaves.
"I thought 'Is this a joke?' I thought one of my kids may have put like a soft toy in there, but no, it was a live one," said Amanda McCormick. "We've had them in our trees before but not inside on our Christmas tree. It must have crawled in when the doors were open, it would have been in our house for at least three hours."
The family called the Adelaide and Hills Koala Rescue organization for assistance, but co-founder Dee Hearne-Hellon was in disbelief at first.
"The call went through to our 24-hour hotlines and of course the operator at first thought it was a prank call," Hearne-Hellon said.
"Apparently it took a little bit of convincing that, no…Amanda really did have a koala in her Christmas tree. It was just so gorgeous, seeing it sitting there just looking," she added.
The koala rescue responded to the home and took the furry creature back to the wild, but not before the family affectionately named her Daphne.
Hearne-Hellon said the critter was around three or four years old and healthy.
After considering the challenges from this year, McCormick revealed that the family welcomed the odd occurrence.
"It was a very memorable experience. After a bad year, it was nice to have that,” she said.
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