Koala mistakes man's leg for a tree

Music 16/12/2016

An Australian man out to get closer to nature got more than he bargained for when a koala mistook him for a tree.

Trent Kearney was hiking in Morialta Conservation Park in South Australia when he came across the iconic Australian marsupial.

It turned out to be just as interested in them, as they were in it. "He's gonna come on you," an off-camera friend can be heard telling Mr Kearney in video supplied to network Channel 7.

"He wants to come and see you. Don't run away from him." That's when the koala made his move.

"Oh my god - are you filming this? You have a baby koala on your leg. I've never seen that before," the friend says. "He thinks this is a tree… that's not a tree!" Mr Kearney wasn't so thrilled.

"Am I gonna get a disease from him?" he asks. "No, he's just a koala," his friend replies.

She was wrong - around three-quarters of koalas in the wild have chlamydia, and in rare cases it can jump species. Eventually, the koala finds a real tree to climb, to everyone's relief.