Lewis the koala saved from bushfires by grandma has sadly died

Lewis the koala saved from bushfires by grandma has sadly died

Lewis, the Koala who was saved last week from the substantial bushfires which engulfed New South Wales, Australia, has died, the BBC reports.

The animal rose to international attention when he was saved from the bushfires of Port Macquarie by a kind grandmother-of-seven, Toni Doherty. In rescuing the koala, Doherty risked her own safety.

Footage shows how she used her shirt to wrap up the injured koala who was unable to escape the raging fires. She then tended to its injuries, using water to cool the burns.

This is the dramatic moment Toni Doherty rescues Lewis the koala:

Doherty then took the animal to the nearby Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, where Lewis was subsequently treated for burns to his hands, feet, arms and the inside of his legs.

Credit: CBS Evening News

The hospital has set up a GoFundMe to help cover the koalas' care costs. It has received around 31 koalas for treatment due to dehydration and burns. 

But in spite of the care he received, things weren't looking good for Lewis. Due to the extent of his injuries, Lewis had to be fed a single leaf at a time.

Credit: 9News

On November 24, the hospital issued an update on Lewis’ health:

"Lewis at the moment is in the category of "prognosis guarded" as in we are uncertain of his future. If we feel that his injuries and his pain are not treatable and tolerable, we will put him to sleep as this will be the kindest thing to do.

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."

After failing to recover from his injuries, the hospital made the decision to put the little koala to sleep.

Credit: 9News / Screenshot

Writing on Facebook today, November 26, the hospital said:

"Today we made the decision to put Ellenborough Lewis to sleep. We placed him under general anaesthesia 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."