Hundreds of koalas have been killed by bushfires ravaging the east coast – but some are clinging on to survival in rescue centres. A koala named Lewis who was saved by a woman who wrapped him in her shirt near Port Macquarie had to be put down due to his burns on Tuesday. His heartbreaking
Hundreds of koalas have been killed by bushfires ravaging the east coast – but some are clinging on to survival in rescue centres.
A koala named Lewis who was saved by a woman who wrapped him in her shirt near Port Macquarie had to be put down due to his burns on Tuesday.
His heartbreaking story went viral online and sparked a campaign which has raised almost $2million from donors around the world.
Workers at the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital that looked after Lewis told Daily Mail Australia on Wednesday they were overwhelmed by the public’s generosity.
‘We’re working flat out here and we’re very busy with taking donations over the phone,’ one said.
‘The community has been extremely generous’.
Julie Black, of Port Stephens Koalas, described similar scenes at her sanctuary. ‘We’re actually completely inundated with clothes and towels for the koalas,’ she said.
Advising people on how best to help, she said: ‘If people want to donate the most helpful thing for them to do is to give medication or money.’
After Lewis’ death moved the world, Daily Mail Australia here charts the progress of his fellow koalas who made it out of the bushfires alive.
Peter was saved from fires at Lake Innes Nature Reserve and workers at Port Macquarie Koala Hospital said he is healing well.
He has burns to his hands and feet and 90 per cent of his body was singed.
His fur turned brown due to the heat of the fires.
Peter (pictured) was saved from fires at Lake Innes Nature Reserve and workers at Port Macquarie Koala Hospital said he is healing well
Peter (pictured) has burns to his hands and feet and 90 per cent of his body was singed
‘He is eating well, and his burns are healing as we expected,’ the carers said.
In an update on Peter’s progress, workers said they have 31 koalas in the sanctuary rescued from fires.
‘It’s early days yet for most of them. We thank you all for being so supportive, kind and caring,’ they said.
Paul was the first koala saved from the Lake Innes Nature Reserve fireground near Port Macquirie.
He was found curled up on the burnt ground by a member of the public who brought him to the Koala Hospital.
Paul was severely dehydrated and had suffered burns to his hands and feet.
Paul (pictured) was the first koala saved from the Lake Innes Nature Reserve fireground near Port Macquirie
Peter (left) and Paul (right) hanging out in the Koala Hospital after they were rescued
This normally happens when a koala climbs down a burning tree to escape the flames.
His fur is also singed on 90 per cent of his body.
Workers wrapped his feet in green plasters and hope his wounds will successfully heal.
Anwen, a young female, was also rescued from Lake Innes Nature Reserve.
She had suffered singeing to 90 per cent of her body and radiant burns to her bottom from the extreme heat of the flames.
Anwen also has burns to the pads on her hands and feet, probably from climbing burnt trees.
Anwen (pictured), a young female, was also rescued from Lake Innes Nature Reserve
Workers at Port Macquarie Koala Hospital say she is recovering really well and is especially enjoying the hospital food.
‘Anwen has accepted the five star service at the Koala Hospital really well and loves the daily delivery of fresh leaf,’ workers said.
Staff also said Anwen has also found a ‘perfect spot’ to sit down in the ward and this has become known as ‘Anwen’s spot’.
Blaze was pulled from the flames in Taree and has been recovering at Port Stephens Koalas where workers say he is a ‘treasure to care for.’
He suffered horrific burns to his hands feet, testicles and face.
Blaze is being treated with a saline drip three times a day and nebulizer to help his throat, nasal passages and lung tissue heal.
Blaze (pictured) was pulled from the flames in Taree and has been recovering at Port Stephens Koalas where workers say he is a ‘treasure to care for.’
Sooty was rescued from fires in Taree and taken to Port Stephens Koalas.
He is suffering from severe burns and is on a ‘long and difficult’ road to recovery.
Workers at the centre remained hopeful that he will survive.
They said: ‘The koalas will be offered round the clock care and attention by PSK’s wonderful team of home carers and volunteers.
‘We must all pull together during these disasters and do all we can to preserve and protect our precious koala population.’
Sooty (pictured) was rescued from fires in Taree and taken to Port Stephens Koalas
Lewis had to be put down in a koala hospital due to his extensive burns.
Video footage of Toni Doherty saving the koala from the Long Flat bushfire near Port Macquarie went viral a week ago.
The injured marsupial was taken to the Koala Hospital Port Macquarie where his burns were treated and he was named Ellenborough Lewis after Ms Doherty’s grandchild.
Toni Doherty (pictured with Lewis) was recorded running into an out-of-control bushfire to save him
Lewis (pictured) had to be put down in a koala hospital due to his extensive burns
Lewis’ last hours alive: How koala spent final moments
Lewis was rescued from bushfires near Port Macquarie two weeks ago and taken to Port Macquarie Koala Hospital.
His burns were so bad that he had to be taken home with volunteer Barbara Barrett because he needed one-on-one care at all hours of the day.
Koala Conservation Australia President Sue Ashton said the little man was so tired in his final hours that he could barely eat.
‘We moved him into homecare for one-on-one, round-the-clock care because we have so many koalas to look after here and he needed more attention.
‘Barbara would sit beside him and feed him one leaf at a time. He was so weak he would take an hour just to eat one leaf – she was very dedicated’.
Because he was in pain and showed no signs of getting better, the decision was made to put Lewis down with a lethal injection on Tuesday.
‘It was an animal welfare issue, it was more humane not keep him alive,’ said Ms Ashton.
‘It was heartbreaking’.
But the hospital on Tuesday delivered some bad news for all of those following the koala’s progress.
‘Today we made the decision to put Ellenborough Lewis to sleep,’ the hospital said on Facebook.
‘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’ case, the burns did get worse, and unfortunately would not have gotten better.’
The koala had suffered burns to his hands, feet, arms and the inside of his legs.
The animal hospital a few days ago stated it didn’t keep koalas alive if that meant them suffering too much pain and discomfort.
How you can help: Where to donate
A donation of $50 could purchase essential cooling and non-painful Flamazine ointment used to prevent infection in severe burns.
A donation of $200 could purchase an IV drip stand used in administering vital fluids for rehydration.