Billy the koala, whose image was beamed across the world after being rescued from the Australian bush fires, has died.

People from around the world fell in love with the cuddly koala after pictures of his blue-bandaged paws went viral on social media.

Billy was found last month in Kenton Valley, in the Adelaide Hills.

Billy the koala has died at Adelaide and Hills Koala Rescue. Photo / 1300koalaz
Billy the koala has died at Adelaide and Hills Koala Rescue. Photo / 1300koalaz

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But last night, Billy's carers, Adelaide and Hills Koala Rescue, took to Instagram to announce the devastating news he had died following injuries suffered during the bush fires.

"Dear Billy didn't make it to the end of his recovery journey," the post reads.

"He was doing so well, until one day, he just wasn't.

"Early one morning, as the sun came up and the birds started to sing, he closed his beautiful eyes and went to sleep.

"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.

"Thank you all so much for your love for him.

"Sleep tight Billy, we miss you."


Millions of animals have been impacted by the Australian bush fires, with many succumbing to the flames, while most have been displaced with habitats left in ruins.

Some entire local koala populations were feared dead across numerous states.

Earlier this month more than 27,000 people signed a petition to introduce koalas to New Zealand eucalyptus plantations amidst Australia's devastating bush fires.

The petition, addressed to Jacinda Ardern, said koalas were functionally extinct in Australia, but could thrive in New Zealand, as many other Australasian species do.

"They would not compromise our local ecosystem, as koalas typically inhabit open eucalypt woodlands, and the leaves of these trees make up most of their diet," the petition read.

"New Zealand has 28,575ha planted in eucalypts, most is located in the central North Island, and are similar to much older forests from Australia, as they grow fast here."

But a spokesperson for Jacinda Ardern told 1 News she was focused on providing firefighters and defence logistics to help get the fires under control.

"Our focus is getting the fires under control so they [the koalas] can stay in their natural habitat," the spokesperson said.