Lewis the Koala Rescued From Australian Bushfire Has Sadly Died | 22 Words

Ellenborough Lewis the koala captured the hearts of the nation when a video of him being rescued from a flame engulfed tree went viral. The little koala was just seconds away from death, when a woman, known only as Toni, ran to his aid using the clothes off her own back to wrap him up.

People across the globe have been closely following his recovery, but it seems there's been some devasting news. The hospital has announced that Lewis has sadly passed away.

Keep scrolling for the full story.

 

Bushfires are a harsh reality of living in Australia...

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As beautiful of a country that Australia is, it certainly isn't very safe in terms of mother nature.

The final few months of the year are always Australia's hottest...

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Every year without fail, Australia experiences scorching temperatures over the festive season, with highs of 48 degrees celsius being reached around the country.

But these high temperatures certainly aren't something to be celebrated...

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The heat that Australia faces becomes unbearable, with many being unable to even sit on the beach and sunbathe due to the extreme heat burning their skin.

And in extreme cases...

Wild bush fires occur, which sadly, happens most year in Australia.

The people of Australia are no strangers to bush fires...

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Bush fires are slow-moving and, according to the Australian government, they have an extremely high heat output, meaning that they can pass in 2-5 minutes, but they smolder for days on end.

They are now an intrinsic part of Australia's environment.

But despite natural ecosystems have evolved with fire, hundreds of thousands of Australia's wildlife are affected by the flames every year.

New South Wales is suffering immensely at the moment.

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This state of Australia is truly taking a beating by bush fires, and it has been battling the heat for the last few weeks.

The last few weeks have had a devastating impact...

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The BBC reported that close to fifty bush fires continue to burn in populated coastal and inland regions to the city's north. Authorities say 468 homes have so far been destroyed since blazes flared up on 8 November.

4 people have been confirmed to have died in the fires since they ignited...

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Vivian Chaplain, sixty-nine, Julie Fletcher, sixty-three, Barry Parsons, fifty-eight, and George Nole, whose age is unknown. They were found in separate locations in rural NSW.

As the forests and rural areas continue to burn...

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Many forget that these are the homes to Australia's wildlife, and so many animals perish to the flames and smoke every year.

Australia's native animals are at a huge risk.

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As many as 350 koala bears have died, with an approximate 75% of the fireground footprint said to have encroached on prime koala habitat.

The authorities and volunteers work tirelessly every year to help as many animals as possible...

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And because of these efforts, a lot of dehydrated and scared animals are saved from the relentless bush fires.

One selfless woman along with an adorable koala named Lewis became an internet sensation when a video went viral...

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Toni Doherty, a local to the New South Wales state, fearlessly ran into a bush fire at the aid of the helpless koala bear.

The heartbreaking footage showed the helpless koala wandering around on the road near the burning forest.

via: Veuer

He was clearly very confused as to what is going on around him, and his vulnerability was very apparent.

The little koala is could then be seen stumbling through the burning forest...

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It was truly devastating to watch, but help was soon on its way.

Toni rushed to the koala's side...

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She took off her t-shirt and used it to wrap up the frightened animal. She then rushes off to give the koala plenty of water.

The koala was extremely dehydrated and his fur was matted from the heat...

The poor little thing could be heard wailing as Toni poured water over him and bundled him up in extra towels and blankets.

The poor koala was rushed to a special koala hospital...

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Toni proceeded to take the scorched koala, to the nearby Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, a specialist facility currently treating a number of injured koalas.

People across the globe have been following his recovery.

via: Twitter

His horrific burns had to be bandaged up, and the hospital warned that burns tend to get worse before they get better.

But in Lewis' case...

via: FOX News

His burns were continuing to get worse each day.

Sadly, the decision was made to have him put down.

The hospital announced the devastating news on Facebook this week.
"Today we made the decision to put Ellenborough Lewis to sleep.
"We placed him under general anesthesia this morning to assess his burns injuries and change the bandages."

Tragically, there was no way his burns would heal.

via: Twitter

"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 hospital then thanked everyone for their ongoing support.

via: Twitter

"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." Sadly, Lewis' story is a stark reminder of the devastating impact these fires are having on the local wildlife. In fact, koalas have faced a heartbreaking decline in numbers as a result of the bushfires, which many experts fear they will never fully recover from. Keep scrolling to learn more about this heartbreaking news and what the future (if there is one) is looking like for these animals.