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Driver spots ‘strange’ creature on road after playing dashcam video

A “shocking” late-night encounter on an Australian suburban road has prompted a driver to check his dashcam footage as soon as he got home. Michael McInerney, 22, was driving home from the gym shortly after midnight on Monday when he spotted a creature leaping between barriers set up along a roadworks zone in Sydney’s southwest.

“I was driving and I saw something coming towards me,” he told Yahoo News on Tuesday. “At first I thought it was running towards the car, so I braked to try to avoid it.”

Although he had never seen one in the wild, McInerney was fairly certain of what animal had crossed his path. The encounter replayed in his mind as he drove home.

“I couldn’t quite wrap my head around it until I went back and checked the dashcam footage,” he told Yahoo News Australia. To see just how fleeting McInerney’s encounter with the animal was, you can check out the footage below.

After removing the USB from the dash cam system, McInerney checked the front and rear cameras. It was immediately clear that the animal he had seen was a koala.

“Especially the rear camera, you can see it. I didn’t even suspect that the koalas were running so fast, they were literally jogging,” he said.

“So I showed it to my parents immediately. I said, ‘Look at this! ’ It was pretty weird.”

At the time, it would have been dangerous for McInerney to stop as there was nowhere to park near the Heathcote Road upgrade near Holsworthy. Worried the animal could be hit on the busy road, he posted a message on a local social media page asking a wildlife rescuer for help.

The nearby Appin Road in south-west Sydney is known as Australia’s “death row” due to the large number of endangered koalas that die there. Source: Patrick Baric/Barry Durman

Volunteers from Help Save the Wildlife and Bushlands in Campbelltown, which is partnered with Sydney Wildlife Rescue, spotted the roost on Tuesday and located the koala in a nearby tree. Sadly, it had been hit by a car.

The group’s founder, Ricardo Lonza, told Yahoo News that the animal was evaluated by a veterinarian.

“We have been informed that he has been hit by a car. He has a head injury,” she said. This afternoon he was undergoing tests to determine if he had any broken bones, injuries that can often be unrecoverable for a koala due to its need to climb trees.

Lonza is concerned about ongoing development in koala habitat in the south-west, which is linked to an alarming rate of koalas being hit by cars.

“The problem is that trees are being removed from the street and roads are being widened,” Lonza said. “There were barriers there for the construction, but the koala somehow managed to get in.”

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