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Koala saved from Australian wildfire by woman dies in hospital

Lewis was taken to the nearby Port Macquarie Koala Hospital for treatment. Credit: AP

A koala saved by a woman who braved an Australian wildfire has died from its injuries.

The severely burned koala, named Lewis, was given water and wrapped in a blanket after being found on a road in the New South Wales state town of Wauchope last week.

After constant assessment, vets at Koala Hospital Port Macquarie made the decision to put Lewis to sleep as his burns took a turn for the worse and would not recover.

In a statement, the hospital said: “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.

“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.”

Lewis’ rescue made headlines globally when Toni Doherty walked into the smoky forest, describing it as the “natural instinct”.

She told Network Nine she “immediately thought just get to him, put the fire out”.