Members of the Burleigh Point Outrigger Canoe Club were paddling across Tallebudgera Creek on Australia's Gold Coast, when they encountered a koala splashing in the water.

"Altogether a stunning, magical encounter!" recalls one of the canoeists. "Amazing to us that he looked at us from the water's edge, then decided to swim over to our canoe to say hello."

Animal experts who spoke with the BBC say the koala was likely looking for a way to get off the creek's tidal bank after becoming trapped, "and decided the canoe was its best way to escape."

The canoeist offers this happy conclusion: "We paddled back to the creek bank where he came from & put him back on the little beach. With a rather casual wiggle he ambled back into the bushes."

[video via Reddit]