Koala rescued from bushfire dies

Koala bear receives treatment. (Photo: Getty Images)
Koala bear receives treatment. (Photo: Getty Images)

It’s a tragic end to a story everyone hoped would finish on a happy note.

The koala that was rescued recently from a wildfire in New South Wales, Australia – footage of which was captured in a video that went viral – has died, People reports.

“Today we made the decision to put Ellenborough Lewis to sleep,” the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital in Australia said in a statement on Facebook.

“We placed him under general anaesthesia this morning to assess his burn injuries and change the bandages,” the statement continued. “We recently posted that ‘burn injuries can get worse before they get better’. In Ellenborough Lewis’ case, the burns did get worse, and unfortunately would not have got better.”

The actions of the woman who saved the marsupial, Toni Doherty, were caught on video last week, and captured thousands of hearts around the globe.

She was seen running into the burning bushland from her car and wrapping the koala in a shirt off her own back. After getting him to safety, she poured water on him before taking him to the Koala hospital.

In an interview with Australia’s Nine News, she said saving the animal was “natural instinct”. “He just went straight into the flames and I just jumped out of the car and went straight to him. I knew if I didn’t get him down from the tree he would’ve been up there amongst the flames.”

She named him Lewis after one of her grandkids.

At the time of his rescue, a spokesperson for the hospital said his chances of survival were 50-50.

“His feet are completely burnt and he has burns to his chest and stomach,” the spokesperson said. “He has been bandaged and given antibiotics but will take a lot of looking after, if he pulls through.”

RIP, little guy.

(Sources: People, Facebook)

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24