Koala in viral rescue 'put to sleep'

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 26 2019 03:57 PM | Updated as of Nov 26 2019 03:58 PM

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MANILA- The koala seen in a viral rescue video last week died on Tuesday, the Australian hospital taking care of it said.

The koala named Ellenborough Lewis went viral last week after a woman, later identified as Toni Doherty, rescued it from the raging bushfire near the Australian town of Port Macquarie in New South Wales.

On Tuesday, the Koala Hospital of Port Macquerie announced on social media that it has euthanized Ellenborough Lewis following an assessment of its burns.

"Today we made the decision to put Ellenborough Lewis to sleep," it said.

The hospital explained that the burns of the koala worsened 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," it said.

About 350 koalas living on the reserve in the north coast town of Port Macquarie have died in the bushfires, the group Koala Conservation Australia estimated last week.

-with a report from Reuters