‘He Didn’t Make It’: Heartbreak As Billy The Koala Dies After Bushfire Rescue
The Koala whose image rapidly circulated the globe after he was rescued from South Australian bushfires has sadly died.
Billy captured hearts across the world after pictures of his blue bandaged paws were posted to social media by his loving carers in Adelaide.
He was rescued from South Australia’s Kenton Valley in December and had suffered major burns to his paws and coccyx. Billy had been monitored for infections to his burns and was believed to be doing well.
Just a few weeks ago his carers at 1300 Supporting Koalas posted an update of Billy’s condition saying his front and back paws had healed and the bandages had been removed.
They were “over the moon” with Billy’s progress. However, his condition deteriorated.
His heartbroken and devoted carers took to Instagram on Wednesday night to deliver the devastating news.
“The stress of his experience in the fire proved too much for his little body to heal from. His carers are nursing broken hearts but comforted to imagine him climbing that big gum tree in the sky," the said.
“Sleep tight Billy, we miss you.”
Another koala named Rocky also sadly passed away at the facility after too being rescued. His carers said the trauma of the bushfires also got the better of him.
It is thought that more than one billion livestock and wild animals have been wiped out in the bushfires.
Dr Stuart Blanch from WWF Australia believes koalas in eastern Australia were on track for extinction by the year 2050 but recent bushfires “have brought that extinction timeline forward”.
Koala numbers in northern NSW and Queensland dropped by a staggering 42 percent between 1990 and 2016, due to loss of habitat from deforestation, land clearing and climate change as major factors.