A koala named Lewis that was rescued during the devastating Australian bushfires has died. The koala was put to sleep by veterinarians due to being unable to recover from sustained injuries, said the post written by the Macquarie Koala Hospital on their Facebook page.
The hospital staff said that burn injuries may worsen before getting better. But, in Lewis’s case, the burns worsened and they wouldn’t get better.
The Koala Hospital’s goal is to ensure animal welfare and thus, they made the decision to cease the animal’s suffering.
Cute Lewis Doesn’t Get Better, Hospital Puts Him to Sleep
The staff made a decision to put the suffering animal to sleep after they examined the serious burns on its hands, feet, legs, and arms.
He had received ongoing care and pain relief since he was rescued. Sadly, the bushfires through eastern Australia have killed at least 6 people and destroyed a lot of homes.
Dozens of fires are still raging and there’s no relief in sight. The blazes have caused the deaths of hundreds of koalas and destroyed thousands of acres of habitat that may place these cuddly Australian icons on the list of endangered species.
The video of the rescue of the koala shows the animal being disoriented and wandering on the road and back towards the fires before Toni Doherty, a motorist, chases the animal and puts him down from a tree.
Then, he doused the koala in water and wrapped him in a blanket. He took the animal to his car and brought to the local koala hospital. Doherty recalls seeing the animal coming out of the flames being terrified. The animal was so defenseless and running along the road.
He named the koala after his grandchild. Lewis was one of the 30 koalas being treated at the hospital for fire-related injuries.
Support for these Loving Animals Is Flowing
Koala supporters have given more than $1, 6 million to a campaign on GoFundMe for the hospital. The hospital is thankful and claims they’ve received sufficient funds for supplies that can last up to 10 years. They thanked all supporters for their immense help.
According to postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Queensland in Australia, Christine Adams-Hosking, koalas suffered the most in these fires because of their helplessness.
Namely, birds are able to fly, kangaroos are known to hop fast, but these little cute animals are quite slow and therefore, get stuck where they are.
According to assistant clinical director Scott Castle, regions that were impacted by these fires need to be properly assessed to see the full extent of changes to the dynamics of populations.