It's the Christmas miracle we never knew we needed.

The holidays are full of surprises, from wrapped presents to Santa Claus's famous chimney climb. But an Australian family just kicked off the most wonderful time of year with a bizarre encounter—a koala bear chilling in their Christmas tree!

The family from Adelaide, South Australia, made the stunning discovery last Wednesday after leaving the house for a few hours. The Guardian reported that the McCormicks returned home at 6 p.m., and upon their arrival noticed something odd with their Christmas tree. Amidst the pink, silver, and blue decorations was a fuzzy koala bear clinging to the branches.

Amanda McCormick and her daughter, 16-year-old Taylah, couldn't believe what they were seeing. Initially, they thought it was a stuffed animal, but sure enough, the koala was as real as could be, with ornaments littering the floor to prove it. Taylah said the young koala clung tight onto the six-foot-tall tree and tried munching on the leaves.

The family immediately rang up the Adelaide and Hills Koala Rescue to notify them of the situation, and to no one's surprise, they thought the call was a prank. Eventually, the rescue realized the report was genuine and they sent two team members to the house to pry the koala out of its newly-adopted habitat. After a slight struggle, the marsupial was gently put into a crate where they released it back into the nearby brush outside.

According to the rescue, the koala was believed to be a 3-4-year-old female. Taylah, who nicknamed the koala Daphne for kicks, recorded the encounter and posted it on TikTok. The small animal's break-in has already gone viral, with over 16,000 likes and reactions ranging from disbelief to delight.


gotta love coming home and finding a koala in your christmas tree.. wtf ##australia ##koala

♬ stayin alive x poouussyy talk - DJ Lilli

“All the comments have been like, ‘There’s no way this is real’, Taylah said. "And the ones that do realize it’s real, they’re like, ‘Oh, next we’re going to be riding a kangaroo to school,’ and ‘This is a true Aussie Christmas’.”

Amanda says the discovery was a much-needed break from the turbulence of 2020, and one that certainly won't be forgotten.

“It was a very memorable experience,” McCormick said. “After a bad year, it was nice to have that.”

Koala bears in Christmas trees aren't normally what we associate with the holidays, but that's 2020 for you. We wish Daphne all the best and hope she finds some real leaves to eat!

Have you ever had an experience with a wild animal before? If so, how was it handled? Share them with us in the comments—it's not every day people encounter animals like this up close!