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Man fined for ramming tree to get koala

A young Australian man has been heavily fined for trying to dislodge a koala by ramming a tree with his Toyota Landcruiser.

Brett Grant Seabrook, 19, pleaded guilty Tuesday to possessing wildlife and endangering an animal, The Age reported. He was ordered to pay $2,800 Australian ($2,237 U.S.).

He could have received a much larger fine and 12 months in jail.

The incident took place in March at a campground in Barmah State Park in Victoria in southeast Australia. Greg Chant, a wildlife officer, said Seabrook found the koala near his campsite and put it in the tree after wrapping it in a blanket.

When the koala began making noises, he tried to get it down, first by hitting the branch with a stick and then by driving his Landcruiser into the tree.

His attorney said Seabrook thought the koala was hurt and was trying to help it, albeit in an inappropriate manner.
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