Tragic end for Bernie the Koala after being rescued from fire near Buninyong

Photo: Wala Animal Sanctuary.

Photo: Wala Animal Sanctuary.

A koala that was rescued by Buninyong CFA volunteers after an out-of-control bushfire has died more than three weeks after being saved.

The death of Bernie the Koala, who was saved from a bushfire earlier this month, was announced on Facebook by Wala Animal Sanctuary on Sunday.

The not-for-profit sanctuary has been caring for the koala since the fire.

It had appeared that Bernie was on the road to recovery, however he “took a turn for the worst [sic]” in recent days.

He had suffered burns throughout his body, as well as smoke inhalation.

Bernie not long after being rescued.

Bernie not long after being rescued.

Rescuers at Wala Animal Sanctuary said on Facebook that Bernie fought hard until the end.

“We fought so hard to help him live and he valiantly fought hard to stay but unfortunately the battle was lost,” the post read.

“Today we are heart broken as we said goodbye to our dear friend who trusted us enough to help him.

“We have laid him to rest under the eucalyptus trees where he will be forever free.”

Wala Animal Sanctuary is a registered not-for-profit organisation that operates at Smythes Creek.