Most people look up into trees to spot koalas, but the elusive animal was found on Wednesday floating on an oyster bag.
Coral and Brian Orr, oyster farmers on the NSW South Coast, were on the water out about 7:30am when they spotted the koala on Wapengo Lake.
“It was just his head sticking out and he was totally soaked,” Mr Orr said.
They pulled the bag in and the koala hurried under the hull of the boat to take shelter.
“He was pretty shook up, but he eventually came out onto the boat to get a little bit of sun and warm up,” Ms Orr said.
Mr Orr said the koala was calm “like a puppy dog” on the boat ride back to shore, but it took a bit of coaching to move it into a crate.
“I was thinking about letting him out, but I called WIRES and they told me to have him checked by the vet,” he said.
Mr Orr is unsure whether the koala swam out to the oyster bags, or ventured in at low tide, but said it was possible it was stuck their all night.
The Orrs have been farming oysters at Wapengo Lake for five years. This was their first sighting of a koala in the wild.
“We’ve pulled up octopus and and snakes with our bags before, but this was something else,” Mr Orr said.
“It’s a pretty special morning for us, it’s not everyday you get to see a koala at work, the last thing I was expecting to see today,” Ms Orr said.
The Orrs took the koala to the vet, where it will be assessed for any injury.