The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital informed in a Facebook post that they had taken a very difficult decision of putting down Ellenborough Lewis the koala. The hospital mentioned that they had administered the burnt koala with general anaesthesia in order to assess the extent of his injuries and change the bandages. The hospital added that Ellenborough's injuries got worse showing no signs of improvement.
Ellenborough garnered attention from all over the world after he was rescued from the raging bushfires near Port Macquarie, New South Wales. His life was saved by a woman who used her shirt to carry the koala to safety before taking him to be treated at the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital.
Experts now believe that koalas have become a functionally extinct species due to the devastating bushfires that have ravaged the Eastern parts of Australia over the last few weeks. The bushfires have not only caused the deaths of hundreds of koalas, but it has also effectively destroyed around 80 per cent of their natural habitat. Firefighters have tried their best to rescue wildlife, and many pictures of injured koalas had gone viral on the internet.
Bear, a cattle-dog cross-breed, has been trained to find two Australian Marsupial species, Koalas and Quolls in the habitats that have been affected by the wildfires. According to reports, Bear who is usually tasked to find injured or sick wildlife for research and conservation in suitable conditions has been wearing protective socks on his paws to search through the affected areas.
Meet Bear,6yr. old border collie/koolie mix with striking blue eyes.Given up by former owners as unfit for pet,being highly energetic. As #NSWfires ravages koala habitat,bear is now part of IFAW, saving the endangered species.Only dog to sniff live koala's. Show him some love 😍 pic.twitter.com/PA3YNEcd0k— CoP (@CommonManOfPune) November 21, 2019
Australians have raised nearly $140,000 through an online fundraiser to protect one of the country's iconic animals, Koala. The wildlife authorities informed the global media outlets that due to the fires, hundreds of genetically diverse Koalas have perished.
The Rural Fire Service of the New South Wales region (NSW RFS) said that due to bush fires at least 150 houses in eastern Australia have been destroyed, three people are reported to be dead, seven are still missing and almost 30 people have been wounded.
(With inputs from agencies)