PICTURES: Koala discovered in wheel arch after surviving 10 mile journey

'Kelli' the koala had recently given birth

PICTURES: Koala discovered in wheel arch after surviving 10 mile journey

Image: Jane Brister/Supplied to Newstalk.com

A koala has survived a 10 mile road trip in Australia while clinging on to the bottom of a car.

It is thought she may have crawled into the wheel arch while the vehicle was parked on the outskirts of Adelaide.

She was rescued after the driver heard her crying and called a hotline.

The animal is about six-years-old and had recently given birth.

Images: Jane Brister/Supplied to Newstalk.com

Image: Jane Brister/Supplied to Newstalk.com

Firefighters removed the wheel to reach her.

The koala escaped with only minor injuries, but was in shock.

She has been since named 'Kelli', after one of the firefighters who helped rescue her.

She has now been tagged and released back into the wild.

Image: Jane Brister/Supplied to Newstalk.com

Jane Brister from Fauna Rescue told Newstalk: "A member of the public called our 24-hour koala hotline - he had driven from his home in the Adelaide Hills 16 kilometres to a destination close to the city.

"He heard crying or a noise under his car, and when he investigated found the koala up under the front wheel arch".

"It would have been a drive downhill through very winding roads".

Image: Jane Brister/Supplied to Newstalk.com

"I required assistance from firefighters to remove the wheel from the car and so one of the experts was a female firefighter named Kelli.

"The koala was in reasonable condition when we extracted her from the car - unfortunately though I discovered later when we took her to the vet that she would have had a joey and the joey was missing. I was unable to find the joey."

Image: Jane Brister/Supplied to Newstalk.com

"We're not sure whether she was already up inside the wheel arch before (the driver) left home or whether she was on the road and he had driven over her and she ended up under the car".

"She was released on a private property - the owners of the property have vowed to keep an eye on her.

"And she has an ear tag so we can always identify her if she comes into care again".