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.
A good Samaritan this kind lady who risked her life to save another👏👏— Angie Karan Ⓥ 🌱🐾 (@angie_karan) November 20, 2019
This woman saved a koala badly burnt in our Australia's recent bush fires by taking the shirt off her back and wrapping the precious animal in it. 🍂🐨🍂
Awesome lady, thank you! 🙏🏻❤ pic.twitter.com/Sg2Q9sqdhQ
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.