"It decided to come to the front toward me, so I said 'OK, you stay here, I'll get out," Tugwell said, according to the Associated Press. "It started sitting for a while on the steering wheel, (as if) saying 'Let's go for a drive,' and that's when I started taking photos."One of those images shortly went viral, leading to memes and the mistaken belief that the koala had been driving the vehicle to cause the pileup. Many put an Australian twist on the popular "Get in loser, we're going shopping," line from Mean Girls.
“Get in loser. We’re going shopping.” https://t.co/XQP3UsAKZE— Heather Ly (@HeatherLyWGRZ)
"Get in Loser, we're gonna put shrimp on the barbie" https://t.co/RIiOfUG38y— Troyal The Queens Child Project Project Manager (@SoloChills)
Got a lot of studying to do? Here's how to read and play with your dog at the same time: Put a rope toy around your foot.
Get in loser, we're going surfing.— Wise Moon 🌘 (she) (@ShariWelch63)
Hop in loser, we're going looking for eucalyptus leaves. https://t.co/8ZhxeBfoNO— Deuce Wayne (@bishopdeuce)
"Hop in loser, we've gotta get out of here." pic.twitter.com/lFBIoAmjMn— John (ready for winter to be over) (@johnfaltin)
Others joked that there was no way the animal was "koala-fied" to operate a vehicle.
He's not koalafied to drive that vehicle.— TalentlessMedia (@TalentlessMedia)
(But, soooo cute)
Australia will let anyone become an uber driver— jimmy martel (@MartelRam)In other posts, social media users joked that the story sounded like the plot of a movie. Comedy Central even joined in on the fun, comparing the photo to a scene from the 2018 remake of "A Star is Born."
This screams buddy cop movie origins https://t.co/AlLAh9jwp1— Alec Kostival (@KostivalonBase)
A Star Is Born (2018)https://t.co/SAtXX73Zhg pic.twitter.com/79kOXRXHU5— comedycentral (@ComedyCentral)
Tugwell said that her car's interior was scratched by the animal's claws, but the koala was shortly picked up by wildlife rescue services.
The koala was released into a forest far from any major roads, according to the Associated Press.