Koala pays late night visit to Australian hospital

By The Associated Press | Posted - May 6, 2015 at 1:12 a.m.


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SYDNEY (AP) — Staffers at an Australian hospital's emergency department received a rather unusual late night visitor — a koala.

The marsupial casually strolled through the automatic doors of Hamilton Base Hospital in Victoria state at 3:30 a.m. on April 20, said Brigid Kelly, spokeswoman for the Western District Health Service.

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 was captured by security cameras, and the footage released by the Western District Health Service on Tuesday.

"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," Kelly said. "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 popularized 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 — Brigid says the hospital has never had a koala visitor before.

"This is a first for us," she said.

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