Skip To Content

    This Woman Who Used Her Own Shirt To Save A Koala From The Australian Bushfires Is A True Hero

    A fearless and selfless woman.

    by ,

    Warning: This story contains upsetting images and content.

    Over the course of the past few weeks, South Australia has been ravaged by bushfires. Around 2.5 million acres have already burned.

    Brett Hemmings / Getty Images

    Port Macquarie, a city in New South Wales, has been severely impacted by the fires with thousands of acres already scorched. In addition to those losses, hundreds of koalas are presumed to have burned to death in the flames.

    Saeed Khan / Getty Images

    If that fact alone hasn't brought you to tears, this definitely will. A video has been released of a woman named Toni Doherty who literally used the shirt off her back to save a koala that was badly burned by the fires.

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    According to 9News, Doherty was passing through a burning area when she spotted a badly burned koala. She knew she had to do something. Doherty told 9News what went through her head. "It was terrifying to see him just come out of the flames and he looked so defenseless running along the road."

    NBC / Via youtube.com

    With no time to spare, she came up with a plan on the spot. "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. I just tried to get him out of the fire, it was so hot and so frightening."

    NBC / Via youtube.com

    The scene was nothing short of spectacular. Look at this HERO.

    NBC / Hemdale Film Corporation / Via youtube.com

    After saving the precious koala from immediate danger, she immediately gave him some water before wrapping him in a blanket.

    NBC / Via youtube.com

    Doherty named him Lewis after one of her grandchildren and handed him over to the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital to receive proper care.

    NBC / Via youtube.com

    Lewis is thankfully able to eat, but still has extensive injuries.

    Lewis is around 14 years old ... he’s well enough to have a munch on some eucalyptus leaves this morning. Is still suffering some serious burns after being rescued from a bushfire yesterday. 🐨 @9NewsSyd

    A spokesperson from the hospital told 9News that he has a "50-50" chance of survival.

    Lewis and Doherty have reunited since the incident. She visited him at the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital to check up on his recovery. I can feel the love from here.

    #EXCLUSIVE: You may remember Lewis, the latest victim of the #NSWBushfire crisis. Today, his heroic rescuer was reunited with the Koala, to get an update on his health. @lizziepearl #9News

    The iconic duo has of course received tons of loving praise.

    @9NewsAUS @lizziepearl So heartbreaking 💔💔💔 Our poor wildlife!! This woman is an absolute hero!! Stay strong Lewis!! ❤❤🐨❤❤

    @9NewsAUS @lizziepearl all of this brings tears; from the shrieks of Lewis, to the remarkable woman that saved him. She truly is a legend.

    @9NewsAUS @lizziepearl Watching that poor baby cry out 🐨 broke my heart 💔knowing how many others suffered through all that also is so terrible 😭but amazing effort from a TRUE AUSSIE 🇦🇺 🙏🏻❤️

    If you want to donate to the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, you can do so at their GoFundMe page. It will help fund the care of Lewis and other koalas who have fallen victim to these devastating fires.

    Port Macquarie Koala Hospital says anyone who’d like to help Lewis and all his mates who aren’t doing so great after the bushfires can donate at https://t.co/FzcfNdpKoR 🐨 @9NewsSyd

    I know where my next paycheck is going, that's for sure.

    Want the best of BuzzFeed Animals in your inbox?
    Sign up for a newsletter today!

    Newsletter signup form