Ellenborough Lewis, the koala rescued from a fire zone by Toni Doherty, could not be saved

Toni Doherty rescues Ellenborough Lewis from the fires near Long Flat. Photo: Nine News.
Toni Doherty rescues Ellenborough Lewis from the fires near Long Flat. Photo: Nine News.

HE was the koala that captured hearts worldwide - plucked from the flames by a brave rescuer who took the shirt off her own back with just moments to spare.

Ellenborough Lewis has tragically died as a result of his fire-related injuries. The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, who provided expert treatment and care, announced he sadly had to be euthanised.

"Today we made the decision to put Ellenborough Lewis to sleep," a Koala Hospital spokesperson shared.

"We placed him under general anaesthesia this morning (November 26) to assess his burns injuries and change the bandages."

Toni Doherty rescues Ellenborough Lewis from the fires near Long Flat. Photo: Nine News.

Toni Doherty rescues Ellenborough Lewis from the fires near Long Flat. Photo: Nine News.

The Koala Hospital kept Lewis under special watch this week but were unsure just how well he could recover from significant burns to his legs and paws.

He was visited by rescuer, Port Macquarie grandmother Toni Doherty, who was captured on video the moment she raced into a fire zone near Long Flat to rescue the koala who had walked through flames and was clearly distressed and badly injured.

She wrapped Lewis in her shirt and doused him in water.

The koala was later named after one of her grandchildren.

Toni Doherty and her partner Peter rescue the burning koala from a fire zone near Long Flat. Photo: Nine News.

Toni Doherty and her partner Peter rescue the burning koala from a fire zone near Long Flat. Photo: Nine News.

Ellenborough Lewis sustained burns to his hands, feet, arms and the inside of his legs. He received substantial pain relief and was placed in home care receiving round the clock treatment.

"We recently posted that "burns injuries can get worse before they get better"," the Koala Hospital explained.

"At the Koala Hospital we do not keep koalas alive "to save their lives" if this means pain and discomfort that is too much.

"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."

The Koala Hospital also thanked everyone for their ongoing support.

A gofundme page has raised $1.66 million from worldwide donations since the koala fire rescues commenced.

The hospital is also asking people to send support and donations to Port Stephens Koalas or Taree Koalas in Care.