A WOMAN in Australia has been hailed as an “absolute legend” after rescuing a badly burned male koala from an out of control bushfire.
Toni Doherty is the talk of the internet after her incredible act of heroism was captured on camera, with footage of her brave act going viral in the process.
Doherty risked life and limb to get to the stranded animal, who was later named Lewis.
Taking the shirt off her own back, she dashed through the scorched woodland, wrapping the koala in her clothing before taking the screaming animal to safety.
Speaking to Network Nine, Doherty explained how her “natural instinct” had kicked in after spotting the stricken koala near the New South Wales state town of Wauchope.
She “immediately thought just get to him, put the fire out” using blankets and water.
The 14-year-old animal was left with severe burns to his chest, feet and stomach.
Lewis has since been taken to Port Macquarie Koala Hospital for treatment.
Writing on Facebook the hospital said: “She (Ms Doherty) is an absolute legend for capturing this male koala who was so disorientated by the flames and unfortunately was burnt further as he headed back into active fire.
“He has been treated and is now in the five-star accommodation at the Koala Hospital.”
The koala is now making good progress and is expected to make a full recovery.
Doherty and Lewis have since had a happy reunion, with the pair enjoying a warm embrace after she paid him a visiting at the koala hospital.
With an Irish surname like Doherty, it’s hardly a surprise to see such an incredible and kind act of bravery.
The names Doherty is derived from the Gaelic O'Dochartaigh sept that was located on the Inishowen peninsula in County Donegal.
The sept name is taken from the Gaelic word 'dochartach', meaning 'hurtful'. ... The name Dorrity is an occasional variant spelling of Doherty in Oriel.