Earlier this week we posted about a viral video of a badass woman named Toni who took off her own shirt to rescue a crying koala from a raging Australian bushfire. The koala, who was named Ellenborough Lewis after Toni’s grandchild, was rushed to a koala conservation center and hospital. Unfortunately, there’s some sad news.
Wrote the hospital on Facebook: “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.”
Koala habitats have been badly damaged by the bushfires. The NYT says that reports the species are “functionally extinct” should not be believed.
“The chairman of the Australian Koala Foundation, Deborah Tabart, estimates that over 1,000 koalas have been killed from the fires and that 80 percent of their habitat has been destroyed,” Forbes reports.