Update: On Nov. 26, Australian caregivers made the difficult decision to euthanize Lewis the koala.
Staff from Port Macquarie Koala Hospital wrote on Facebook that veterinarians there had put Lewis under general anesthesia in order to change his bandages and assess his wounds. At that point, they determined that his wounds were too severe and “would not have gotten better,” and they made the decision to put him to sleep.
Imagine driving through a wooded area with a wildfire raging all around you. The instinct, for most of us, would be to move as quickly as possible out of the flames and into safety. But, as Toni Doherty drove through the brush fires around Port Macquarie, Australia, she discovered a heartbreaking sight that compelled her to hit the brakes and jump into action.
She’d seen a koala cross in front of her car, running toward a group of burning trees.
“It was terrifying to see him just come out of the flames and he looked so defenseless running along the road,” Doherty told Australia’s Nine News of the sight that spurred her to jump into action.
Doherty literally took the shirt off her back to wrap up the animal to protect him. Once she got him to safety, she doused him with water to try to minimize the burn damage. The rescue was caught on video, posted on social media and has since gone viral.
Warning: The video might be disturbing to some viewers.