When a wild koala with burs all over her body arrived on Bruce Atkinson's porch, he knew he had to help. Now, the grandfather is going viral and is being hailed a master koala groomer!
In Apollo Bay, Australia, it's not unusual for koalas to approach humans, but Atkinson could tell right away that this marsupial was in need of help. When he examined her, he saw that she was covered in burs. As she had no way to get them off herself, it's almost as if she came right to his front door to ask for assistance.
Atkinson tried offering the koala a glass of water, but she angrily swatted it away and growled. He didn't know if she would be willing to sit still while he brushed out the burs, but there was only one way to find out.
Atkinson donned a pair of motorcycle gloves and grabbed a hair brush. Incredibly, the koala allowed herself to be groomed for 30 minutes, then ate a few gum leaves and wandered away.
Atkinson was able to remove most of the burs, and according to him, he and the koala are now "good mates."
He said: "I just gently poked the brush at some of the burs. Within seconds it decided, 'This is alright, I'll have more of this.'...I was just amazed that the koala seemed smart enough to realize that I was trying to help [her] and I could not believe how quickly [she] went from being agro to letting me pet and tickle under chin."
That's one smart koala. Hopefully she comes back for a manicure soon -- those nails are looking fierce! Be sure to share this awesome story with the animal lovers you know.