Bear is a six-year-old Border collie and koolie mix who has one crucial job – save koalas in the wild. He works with the Detection Dogs for Conservation. The International Fund for Animal Welfare, also known as IFAW, said that this pup with striking blue eyes has specialized training on sniffing out orphaned, displaced, sick, and injured koalas.

Dog Saves Koalas

Recently, bushfires have been raging on the east coast of Australia, which happens to be the prime habitat of koalas. According to experts, hundreds of them have already died there. However, for those who survived, Bear will be there to help.

Bear had been sent out to many scorched areas in Australia. He helps the Queensland Koala Crusaders, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES), and Wildcare Australia Inc. in finding koalas, which were injured by the fires and are desperately needing for help.

Not A Family Dog

Some may think that a little pooch working to rescue koalas is cute. However, this is not an easy job. To be a koala detection dog, one needs to be disinterested in people. He has to be hyper-focused and have no prey drive, either. All of these requirements were met by Bear, who was once surrendered by his owner to the Detection Dogs for Conservation because he could no longer care for the pup.

IFAW said that Bear was about one-year-old when he was brought to them for assessment. Within minutes they knew that Bear was “The One.” IFAW described Bear as an obsessive and high-energy dog who doesn’t like to be touched. He is uninterested in people, too. Sadly, the qualities that make Bear a perfect dog that saves koalas make him unideal as a family pet.

Most koala detection dogs sniff koala scat. Bear, on the other hand, is trained to look for live koalas. This makes him particularly effective during fires and other natural disasters. In such cases, Bear detects living koalas and leads rescuers to them even if they are on top of burnt trees.

Credit: Fiona Clark

Also read: Guide Dog Called 911 After Owner’s House Caught Fire

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Dog Saves Koalas In Australian Bushfire