Koala Rescued From Australian Bushfire Dies

The koala was one of dozens rescued from a raging bushfire

A koala hospital in Australia posted a somber update on its Facebook page on Tuesday — that the beloved koala rescued from a bushfire last week has died. The koala, named Ellenborough Lewis, was pulled from a tree surrounded by fire by a shirtless woman in a now-viral video.

"We recently posted that 'burn injuries can get worse before they get better," Port Macquarie Koala Hospital posted to Facebook. "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."

Toni Doherty took the shirt off her own back to rescue the badly burned and wimpering koala in New South Wales, Australia.

The koala hospital staff had been monitoring the koala, providing pain relief and care prior to its decision to put the animal to sleep.

The hospital also shared via Facebook that it does not need any more donations. 

"We really really don't need any more supplies - we have enough for the next ten years!!"

The koala was named after the rescuer's grandchild.

While hundreds of koalas are feared dead in recent bushfires, koalas are not "functionally extinct" as some news outlets reported. But they are in danger, experts told The New York Times

Bushfires in eastern Australia are common and burn uncontrollably in the grass, scrub or forested areas. The bushfires this year are unprecedented in scope and being driven by severe drought, according to Science Magazine

Like the wildfires in California, bushfires can have an adverse impact on the environment.

A Southern California wildfire, dubbed the Cave fire, broke out in the Los Padres National Forest on Monday. It grew to more than 4,000 acres and forced thousands to evacuate the surrounding Santa Barbara County area. 

Uncontrollable wind was a major factor that caused fire to spread during the Australian bushfire and SoCal wildfire. 

[NATL-LA] Photos: 'Cave Fire' Forces Evacuations in Santa Barbara County

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