ECHUCA, Australia, Sept. 17 (UPI) -- 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.