BRISBANE, Queensland, Australia – It is not unusual for police to find odd things when conducting searches. But finding a koala in a bag might qualify as uniquely extraordinary.
Officers from the Mount Gravatt Tactical Crime Squad in Brisbane stopped a woman who was wanted on “outstanding matters” last week. When asked if she had anything to declare before being taken into custody, she surrendered a canvas bag and said it contained a koala according to ABC news.
When Senior Constable Rio Law (what a great name for a cop) unzipped the bag, the baby marsupial emerged.
The arrestee told the police she found the koala and was caring for it. Police are investigating her claim.
The koala was transferred to proper care authorities. Spokesman Michael Beatty said the koala was about six months old, and in good health besides being a little dehydrated.
“He weighs 1.5kg and we’ve called him Alfred,” said Beatty.
Senior Constable Law was reunited with Alfred and his new caregiver, Trudi Timbs, last Saturday. Timbs works for the Ipswich Koala Protection Society. Queensland Environment Minister, Dr. Steven Miles was present as well.
ABC reported the following statement from Miles:
He (Alfred) is progressing well, has no obvious injury or signs of disease, has gained a little weight in his first week in care and is responding to lots of TLC. … He needs time to rest so that he can make a full recovery and after that he’ll be returned into the wild. … Lots of people will ask when that will be, and we can’t say for sure. … We will ensure he’s fully fit before releasing him, and we also know he can’t be kept in care too long, in case it works against him fending for himself when back in his natural habitat.
Law said she was relieved the joey was now in good hands. “It was such a surprise to find him — we didn’t quite believe it when the woman told us she had a koala in the bag,” she said. “I’m just happy that there is someone taking good care of him now and preparing for his return to his proper environment.”
Dr Miles said the Queensland Government was committed to ensuring viable and healthy koala populations across the state.