Future of Lewis the koala saved from devastating NSW bushfire uncertain

Clay Curtis
November 21, 2019

A woman risked her own safety Tuesday to rescue a koala that was badly injured in bushfires that have erupted during a heatwave on the continent. The marsupial was spotted crossing a road among the flames near Long Flat in New South Wales.

Video of the rescue shows the woman take off her shirt and wrap it around the koala, then pour water on it from bottles in an attempt to cool its burns.

The animal was later taken to a nearby hospital that specializes in treating koalas.

The country's koala populations have been a major victim of the flames, with more than 350 of the marsupials feared killed in a major habitat.

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Sponsored by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), Bear has found dozens of koalas in need and for research purposes so far this year, but is yet to find any since starting his bushfire deployment earlier this month.

Although the koala, which has been dubbed "Lewis" after one of Doherty's grandsons, sustained serious injuries, he is said to be improving and is already beginning to snack on eucalyptus leaves, Nine News Australia reports.

Currently, 48 fires are burning across New South Wales due to high temperatures and windy conditions, the Associated Press reports.

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