A woman in Australia removed her shirt and rushed into raging bushfire to rescue a badly burnt and wailing koala.
The brave rescuer, who identified herself as Toni spotted the koala – who she has named him Lewis, after one of her grandchildren – on the roadside in Port Macquarie on NSW’s mid-north coast.
“I knew I needed to put something around him as I ran to the tree, so I just took off my shirt and covered him with it… It was so hot and so frightening. I didn’t know I was being filmed at the time, I was so pleased I had something to put over him and to get him out of harm’s way. ,” Toni said.
She said the 14-year-old koala is doing well but has a long road to recovery ahead of him. He has been transferred to animal shelter from the Koala Hospital. Started eating leaves but he was still quiet probably due to the bandaged arms.
“He is a beautiful bear, only 14 years old, and he was quite thin they said as well. He was probably struggling out there with the loss of habitat. He is lovely.”
Bushfires have ravaged around 2.5 million acres of farmland and bush across Australia’s east coast in recent weeks, killing four people and destroying hundreds of homes.
The country’s koala populations have also been a major victim of the flames, it was estimated that 350 animals died out of a population of 600.