Koala hitches a ride inside car wheel in Australia

(WSVN) - An unlikely hitchhiker went for a harrowing 10-mile ride in Australia.

A driver in Adelaide said he was driving on a winding road in the hills outside of the city when he heard cries coming from the traumatized animal. He stopped the car and found a koala behind one of his tires, clinging to the axle of his truck.

Emergency crews took the wheel off of the vehicle, while wildlife rescue workers freed the frightened animal, which was covered in grease.

“she was crying a little bit, she was a little bit shaken,” said Jane Brister of Fauna Rescue. “She was certainly in shock, but I rushed her straight to the vet.”

Rescuers said the koala sustained superficial injuries, and was cleaned up and monitored for a week before being released back into the wild.

Once her transport case was opened, the koala bolted for the nearest tree.

“After everything she’s been through, she’s had so much stress and trauma, to see her just toddle off and up the tree, and currently she’s found the biggest fork in the tree, she’s snuggled up, she’s fast asleep.”

Copyright 2017 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.