This article originally appeared on VICE Australia.
Jaywalking, stalking, and public indecency are some of the latest crimes committed by a new breed of Australian crook: the koala.
Last June, Nikki Erickson, a competitive pole dancer and instructor, came home from work to find a seductive furry critter wrapped around the pole in her living room.
After calling the Daisy Hill Koala Conservation Rescue, Nikki did what any of us would do: nicknamed the koala, Larissa and filmed it twirling up and down the slippery pole.
Nikki’s friend Michelle Shimmy—who herself was crowned Miss Pole Dance Australia in 2016—eventually convinced her to post the video to YouTube. On Facebook, she rightly described the performance as “one of the most incredible and beautiful pole performances” she had ever seen.
The Daisy Hill Koala Conservation Rescue eventually picked up Larissa the koala from Nikki’s home. “They made sure she was ok and in good condition, then released her” Erickson told Mommyish, “They sent me an email the following day to let me know.”
Weirdly, that wasn’t the only animal pole dancing story of 2017. On September 10, a Queensland police Sergeant Julie Cooke wrote in an online report, “Stuart Police were treated to a pole dancing display by Fernando the koala overnight… Fernando was very stubborn and reluctant to move on.”
In that situation, the cops handled things a bit differently.
“When [we] pumped the new Taylor Swift song through the radio he showed his distaste and ditched the pole dancing lesson,” added Sergeant Cooke.
Speaking to The Armidale Express, Simone Aurine from the Hunter Koala Preservation explained that finding koalas in people’s home is becoming more common “because there isn’t the connectivity of habitat there once was… we’re encouraging people to plant appropriate street trees.”
Young koala’s seek to establish their territory, by following a straight line from tree-to-tree in their first 18 months. But man-made structures have become increasingly problematic because they interfere in their territorial pathway. And by “man-made structure” we of course mean stripper poles.
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