28th Aug 2012 4:30pm | By Dan Thorne
Australia's normally lethargic sleepy koala isn't often associated with physical exertion or excercise, preferring to spend most of its life sleeping, resting and eating eucalyptus.
However, a group of canoeists spotted the rarely seen spectacle of a koala swimming across a creek in Queensland's Gold Coast near Burleigh Head National Park.
Julie Elliot, who filmed the unusual scene on her camera phone, said "It took a sip of water and then saw us and obviously decided to come straight over. Then it started clawing at the boat and we didn't know what to do."
"We were thinking it was going to drown so my mate behind me just grabbed him and put him straight in the boat."
"I’ve been paddling along that particular creek for the best part of 10 years and never seen anything like a swimming koala before." Elliot told Australia's Channel 9.
It's a natural skill that koalas rarely need to use - however, in flooded conditions the furry critters find they are forced to swim to get to dry land. Koalas are often found drowned in swimming pools when they find themselves unable to climb out of the high ledges.