By Jasmine Kazlauskas
A gallant golden retriever has been hailed a hero after saving an abandoned baby koala’s life by letting it snuggle in her fur.
Proud dog owner Kerry McKinnon, 45, got the shock of her life after discovering the tiny koala joey snuggled up with her five-year-old golden retriever Asha earlier this week [SEPTEMBER 24].
The mum-of-three, from Strathdownie, Victoria, Australia, said the koala likely became separated from its mother during the night and wandered onto her back porch, finding comfort in Asha’s warm fur.
And with temperatures in the area plummeting to an icy five degrees centigrade, Kerry said that the helpless koala joey ‘never would have made it through the night’ if it hadn’t been cuddled up to Asha.
The golden retriever’s heroic feat has since gone viral on social media, with the adorable photos of the unlikely duo racking up hundreds of likes and shares online.
Kerry said: “It was quite early in the morning, and my husband yelled out to me to come have a look at something.
“I didn’t know what he was talking about at first but then I saw this tiny koala snuggled on top of Asha.
“I just burst out laughing. Poor Asha didn’t know what to think, she just kept looking at me with such a confused look.
“She looked a bit guilty when I came out to see what was going on. Her expression was hilarious.
“She kept looking back at the koala but she wasn’t trying to get him off her or anything. She was happy to let him snuggle into her.
“I think the baby koala fell out of his mum’s pouch and didn’t know what to do.
“He would have just wandered over to our back porch and seen the dogs in their beds, then decided to snuggle in Asha’s fur because it’s nice and warm.
“Asha definitely saved the koalas life by keeping him warm. He would have died out there if left alone all night. The poor thing could have been taken by a fox or something too.”
Kerry said it ‘wasn’t easy’ trying to separate the two – with the koala putting up a ‘huge fuss’ when she tried to remove it from Asha’s back.
The mum said the little joey is doing well after being checked out by a vet – and is now being looked after by a local koala carer until it can be released back into the wild.
Kerry said: “I think dogs have that protective instinct. The koala didn’t want to leave Asha’s back.
“When we took the koala off to wrap it in a blanket, it hissed at me and carried on.
“I think it would have been happy to have just slept there all day. It was really an amazing thing to see and so uniquely Australian.”