WATCH: Heroic Woman Rescues Koala Amid Massive Brushfire

Rebekah Sager
November 21, 2019 - 11:22 am
Koala rescued in Australia



A woman's bravery is being lauded today as a video of her literally walking through fire and taking the shirt off her back to save a koala has gone viral. 

Toni Doherty did what she thought she had to do. As she saw the koala surrounded by flames, the Australian took off her shirt and wrapped it around the marsupial. Grabbing the little guy and bringing him to safety, she doused the koala with water and took it to a sanctuary, where it's doing well.

More than 300 koalas are feared to have been killed this year. The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital even started a GoFundMe account to raise money for the animals' care. The hospital said at least 31 koalas have been brought in to get hydrated and treated for burns.

According to the Australian Koala Foundation, it's estimated around 43,000 koalas are left in the wild in Australia. They're listed as "vulnerable" under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

"We just jumped out and 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 and tried to get him out of the fire," according to Yahoo news

"He was being burnt. He was burning underneath, on his little back legs when he was approaching the tree, I've never heard a koala before, I didn't realize they could cry out," she said.

Thursday, Doherty was reunited with the koala. Named Lewis, the koala was badly burned on his paws, genitals and nose. 

He's an older koala, vets say, he's eating well and getting better. 

CBS News contributed to this story.