Man befriends wild koala after brushing prickles from its fur

A prickle covered koala
The prickly koala (Bruce Atkinson / Facebook)

An Australian man has filmed the moment he befriended a wild Koala after managing to brush prickles from its fur.

Koalas are notoriously aggressive, but it turns out they also like a good grooming.

Victorian man Bruce Atkinson gained the trust of a burr-covered koala by gently removing the prickles covering its body.

His first approach was unsuccessful, with the reluctant koala batting a bowl of water out of his hand.

But it turns out the animal was much more grateful to be saved from the discomfort of the prickly burrs.

"I just gently poked the brush at some of the burrs," he said. "Within seconds it decided, 'This is alright. I'll have more of this.'"

The wild animal sat still for 30 minutes for the grooming.

After removing the prickles, Mr Atkinson retrieved some gum leaves for it to eat, and the koala stayed near his house for the rest of the day.

Since the video was posted on a community Facebook page, it has been shared more than 1700 times and received an outpouring of love from local animal lovers.