Burnt koala Lewis doesn’t make it

Grey koala hanging on tree looks into camera
Koala in a tree, photo: David Clode via Unsplash

Koala Ellenborough Lewis became world news last week when Toni Doherty rescued him from a sea of ​​flames in Australia. He was brought to a koala hospital that announced this morning that they had to put him to sleep.

Doherty saw that Lewis was on fire and decided to save him. She took him from a tree, flooded him with water, and wrapped him in her shirt. He was then taken to Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, where he had been receiving continuous care.

At first, it seemed like Lewis was doing well, but the hospital still had to put Lewis to sleep. His burns were not getting better.

Australia has been dealing with one of the worst forest fires, killing so many koalas. Conservationists initially feared hundreds of dead koalas; that number has risen to 1000. Koalas live in trees and are therefore more vulnerable to natural fires.

When they notice that a fire is raging, they climb to the top of the tree and make themselves small. According to koala experts, that works well with roadside fires, but not with larger fires.

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