Koala causes five-car pileup - before ending up in the driving seat

A koala has been saved after causing a five-care pile up while attempting to cross a busy road in Adelaide, Australia.

The koala's rescuer was stuck in the resulting traffic and got out of her car to investigate what had caused the hold up.

Nadia Tugwell teamed up with a stranger in a bid to capture the marsupial."The koala was absolutely not damaged in any way," Ms Tugwell said.

"It was very active, but very calm," she added.

Once the koala was in her boot, Ms Tugwell drove to a petrol station to hand it over to wildlife rescuers.

During this journey, the koala climbed from the trunk into the front of the car."It decided to come to the front toward me, so I said, 'OK, you stay here. I'll get out,'" she said.

The koala caused a five-care pileup Credit: AP

"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," she added.

The crash, which took place on Monday morning, caused some injuries but no one required an ambulance, local police said.

Ms Tugwell said she had learned from past experience how to calm koalas by covering their eyes.

She lives near a eucalyptus forest outside Adelaide and has twice called animal handlers to rescue koalas injured in fights with other koalas.

"I live up in the hills, and if you let them do what they want to do and you don't chase them or something, they're okay," Ms Tugwell said.

The leather trimmings of her luxury car were scratched by the animal, but Ms Tugwell insisted the happy ending was well worth the damage.

The koala was later released in a forest - well away from the carriageway.