Koala visit not what doctor ordered

Published: Wednesday 6th May 2015 by The News Editor

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Staff at a hospital’s A&E department received a rather unusual late-night patient – a koala.

The marsupial casually strolled through the automatic doors of Hamilton Base Hospital in Australia’s Victoria state at 3.30am.

Surprised staff, not wanting to put any pressure on the animal, watched from a distance as it wandered around the emergency department’s waiting room for about three minutes before showing itself back out.

The koala’s visit last month was captured by security cameras, and the footage released by the Western District Health Service.

“He was quite relaxed, just sort of checking everything out, and then he sort of came back past the doors and they opened and he went on out again,” said health authority spokeswoman Brigid Kelly.

“He wasn’t stressed at all. It was nice to just watch him poke around there for a little while.”

The Health Service’s CEO nicknamed the creature Blinky Bill, after a fictional koala first popularised in a series of children’s books.

Although Australia’s famously unique fauna occasionally ends up in odd places – a crocodile wandered into a Northern Territory bar a few years ago, for example – Ms Kelly says the hospital has never had a koala visitor before.

“This is a first for us,” she said.

Published: Wednesday 6th May 2015 by The News Editor

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