Koala Rescued From Australian Wildfire Dies From Its Injuries

By Bill Galluccio

November 26, 2019

The koala who was rescued from a wildfire in Australia by a passerby who risked her life braving the flames had to be put to sleep. Toni Doherty was captured on video running into the fire when she saw the injured marsupial trying to escape. She took off her shirt and used it to wrap the animal as she brought it safety.

Doherty took the koala to Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, where he was named Ellenborough Lewis, after Doherty's grandson. Lewis suffered extensive burns, and veterinarians attempted to treat his injuries. They initially believed he was making progress in his recovery, but the injuries continued to get worse, and the staff made the decision to put him to sleep.

“Today (November 26) we made the decision to put Ellenborough Lewis to sleep,” the hospital wrote in a Facebook post. “We placed him under general anesthesia this morning to assess his burns injuries and change the bandages. We recently posted that ‘burns injuries can get worse before they get better.’ In Ellenborough Lewis’s case, the burns did get worse, and unfortunately would not have gotten better. The Koala Hospital’s number one goal is animal welfare, so it was on those grounds that this decision was made. We thank you for your ongoing support.”

Doherty was able to visit Lewis before the hospital had to put him to sleep.

The hospital has raised over $1.7 million on GoFundMe and said they have enough money to buy supplies for the next ten years. 

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