Koala who was saved from fire in viral video has died
Woman gave shirt off her back to save the koala from bush fire
LONG FLAT, Australia – Ellenborough Lewis, the wailing koala who was saved from a raging Australian bush fire, has died, according to Nine News.
The staff at Koala Hospital Port Macquaire posted an update regarding Lewis on the hospital’s Facebook page saying the difficult decision was made to put him to sleep.
“We placed him under general anesthesia this morning to assess his burns injuries and change the bandages,” the post said in part.
Lewis, who was estimated to be around 14-years-old, shot to fame in a viral video that showed a woman giving the shirt off her back to save him from one of the devastating bush fires ravaging the east coast of Australia.
Lewis appeared to be stuck in the flames when the woman used her shirt to grab him and wash off his burns with a bottle of water.
The marsupial suffered burns to his hands, feet, arms, and inside of his legs, according to the hospital.
“At the Koala Hospital we do not keep koalas alive ‘to save their lives’ if this means pain and discomfort that is too much. We are all about animal welfare first and foremost," an official with the hospital said via Facebook.
Koalas are listed as vulnerable, according to Australia’s Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.
An official with The Rescue Collective told News.Com.Au that rescuers fear an estimated 1,000 koalas have been killed in the bush fires.
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