A frightened and confused koala with a burnt bottom stopped morning traffic on Manning River Drive on Tuesday.
WEEKDAY traffic slows to a crawl on Manning River Drive from 8.10am as cars flood into Taree.
Thousands of people drive their cars into a bottleneck and the congestion makes for a slow and sometimes frustrating start to the day.
On Tuesday that commute was a little longer as traffic came to a standstill for about 10 minutes. Around 8.30am no cars moved in either direction as a little koala with a burnt bottom stopped traffic.
In truth, it was actually Eggins bus driver, Matt Davey, who stopped the traffic, but it was compassion for “Kevvie the Koala” that caused him to act and the kindness of a stranger who enabled the rescue of the frightened animal which was trying to escape the traffic on Manning River Drive.
Matt sees a great deal from the elevated driver’s seat of bus eight. Daily he does the service run from Old Bar to Taree and Taree to Old Bar and knows the challenges of getting a bus load of kids to school on time. At 8.30am he had about 80 school kids on board when he saw “Kevvie the Koala” on the side of the road.
“I looked to my right near Fineline Motorcycles and saw this hairy little creature on the side of the road. I thought it was a maimed little puppy, but after a closer look I saw that it was a koala with a burnt bottom,” Matt said.
“I stopped the bus to stop the traffic, flashed the lights of the bus and waved out the window.
“I flagged down a driver of a Jackeroo who looked like a decent guy and asked him if he had a blanket or jacket in his car that he could use to catch the koala.
“I couldn’t leave the bus as I have a duty of care to the kids.
“Fortunately another Eggins bus was coming the other way so we were able to stop both lanes from moving.
“Thanks to whoever you are that rescued Kevvie the Koala. They say the Melbourne Cup is the race that stops the nation, but on Tuesday it was Kevvie the Koala that stopped the traffic.”