A woman found herself a refereeing an episode of road rage earlier this week, but the participants — two koalas throwing hands in the middle of a rural highway — might surprise you.
Woman Mistakes Adorable Koala Brawl For Something Else Entirely
This most Australian of stories comes to us from Portland, a coastal town of about 10,000 people located roughly 222 miles west of Melbourne, where the sight of the brawling bears left a passing motorist and self-proclaimed animal lover, Sharon Brecely, in a state of shock.
When tooting her horn did nothing to disperse the warring marsupials, Brecely exited her vehicle to get a closer look and film the scene with her mobile device.
If the spectacle was somewhat amusing at first, it quickly turned a measure more dire when she spotted a semi-trailer truck approaching at about 65 mph.
Wading closer to the koalas, she successfully flagged the driver, who guided the rig into the breakdown lane, where it continued on at speed but without incident.
While Brecely was relieved that neither human nor beast was struck, the stubborn animals — who she pegged at about 45 pounds per — were still scraping as if nothing had happened.
So the Victorian woman retreated to her car to grab a towel, which she then used to shoo them off the road and into nearby bushes.
In an interview with 9 News Melbourne, Brecely admitted that she thought briefly of breaking up the fight in a more forceful fashion but the critters' blank stares — and considerable girth — gave her pause:
"I think, the biggest one probably weighed about 20 kilos. He was heavy. And they were angry so I wasn't going to pick them up."
Brecely, whose own pets include six cats, five dogs, a bird, horse, and cow, was praised for her bravery and quick-thinking by local wildlife officials:
"It's fabulous to see people so concerned about our wildlife and we really encourage that," Zoe Rowell, a zookeeper at Melbourne Zoo, said.
"It's great that she used her voice to sort of move them on and you could, if safe to do so, position your car so that it would encourage them to move off the road."
For more on this unusual story, watch 9 News' report, which is embedded below: