Lewis, a koala that caught the public eye after being captured on video while being rescued from the raging bushfire in New South Wales by a brave lady named Tony Doherty, has died at the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital where it was being treated.
Delivering the sad news via Facebook, the hospital staff explained that the koala’s burn injuries got worse and "would not have gotten better," thus prompting them to make a decision to put the creature "to sleep."
"The Koala Hospital's number one goal is animal welfare, so it was on those grounds that this decision was made", they wrote.
As news.com.au notes, the hospital also thanked the community for their support as the establishment’s GoFundMe page has attracted over $1.66 million in donations by 26 November.
Many social media users seemed upset by the news, expressing their sadness online.
Probably the saddest news I have heard in a while. That footage of her rescuing Lewis itself was heartbreaking. Our wildlife should not be forced to suffer like this.— 💧Miss Moo (@miss_moo) 26 ноября 2019 г.
I know there is a lot going on in the world but I’m gutted by the news that Lewis the koala - who was rescued from the Australian bush fires - has sadly died from the injuries he sustained 😭🐨 pic.twitter.com/CiNKOwQFVN— Dan Walker (@mrdanwalker) 26 ноября 2019 г.
R.I.P little guy #lewis now free from pain & suffering no more bless you for being 💋💋— The Sexy Bear (@TheSexyBear1) 26 ноября 2019 г.
Some also praised Doherty’s efforts to save the koala.
That is tragic but thank you, Toni Doherty for your heroic care.— 💧Shaun Warnock (@shaunwarnock_sw) 26 ноября 2019 г.
Thank you to Toni Doherty for rescuing him and to Port Macquarie Koala Hospital for trying so hard to save him. 🐨— Björn (@BjornHund) 26 ноября 2019 г.