Courageous Canine: Australian Dog Receives Award for Saving 100 Koalas

We think it’s reasonable to assume that most of us have heard of the Australian fires, which occurred between September 2019 and March 2020 and severely damaged the country’s animals and flora. The fires were particularly catastrophic in New South Wales.

The drought and fires that occurred last year are the most serious signs of Australia’s climate disaster. Disasters such as fires and floods have ruined farmers’ livelihoods and caused millions of dollars in damage.

Unfortunately, due to these tremendous fires, many animals in Australia were also severely damaged or killed. Around 60,000 wild koalas died during this disaster, making them the most vulnerable. However, many of them were saved thanks to the efforts of volunteers, firefighters and one dog in particular.

We would like to introduce you to Bear, a dog who saved over 100 koalas during the Blacksummer bushfires in Australia.

Meet Bear, the dog who saved more than 100 koalas during the Australian wildfires

Ourpets contacted Bear’s owner and asked him a few questions. We then asked if Bear had been trained specifically to locate koalas. \s“ Trained specifically for koalas. A collaboration with conservation detection dogs at USC and IFAW, achieved with a lot of patience and perseverance.

Dogs are fantastic allies for conservation. Their noses are invaluable and effective in helping to find and gather data on species in need. Dramatically reduce effort and time! And it’s a win-win situation for everyone involved: rescues are valuable, and as Bear illustrates, where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

Next, we wanted to know how the concept for Bear’s Instagram account came about.

“Everyone is online now! We already had Instagram accounts for the detection dog team, but after the bushfires, everyone wanted to know more about Bear. Therefore, we use Facebook to share information about our work with IFAW, wildlife rescue organizations, research and daily life.”

Since Bear is an amazing dog, we also wanted to know what his personality was like!

“Silly and shameless! Bear really is a dog with little self-confidence, but in the field he just loves life and you can feel it in his big goofy smile. He is so excited that the only thing he wants to do all day is play! All of his attention is focused on picking up his toy and playing. He will run, perform a quick tumble, make a little “awooo” sound, and tell you what he wants with his eyes: a toy! He needs to get some exercise or he’ll be hypercharged all day like a Duracell bunny, and he’ll let you know it! He loves pats and massages early in the morning and at night, especially on the chest.

Also, funnily enough, he LOVES the smell of pizza! It’s the only food he’ll ever see you eat.”

Bear helped find koalas in need of medical assistance during the 2019-2020 bushfires. The bear’s amazing story went viral, so we wanted to know how the dog’s owner did it.

“Crazy! That was intimidating because it was totally new to us… However, everyone loves a dog with a good story! And if we can share some joy in the midst of the tragedy created by the wildfires, it would be worth it.”

Bear seems like a lively dog ​​and had us wondering if his owner had any funny stories to share with us.

“While we were being interviewed, someone threw the ball behind us and Bear, with his steely concentration, tried to impale one of the people being interviewed, completely knocking her out, knocking her off the stool and onto the floor! Bear continued as if nothing had happened. He’ll make a game out of this if you can throw it and he can catch it… Bear kept bringing leaves to someone to throw, and with each throw, the leaf shrank until only a piece of stem remained. He placed this small stem attached to his tongue in someone’s lap, only to not be able to provide it to them and instead left a huge wet mark on the person’s clothing. This went on for 30 minutes, and if there was no other leaf left, he would go get one.”

Lastly, we couldn’t resist asking what Bear’s owner’s favorite part about him was.

“Your character! Sometimes he reminds me of Sid from Ice Age, things don’t always seem to be on… But then his concentration changes and you can see all the gears working behind those eyes! One of his managers refers to him as Dobby White Walker, a reference to the elf’s eyes from Harry Potter and the white walkers from Game of Thrones!

He is the only dog ​​in Australia trained and able to find koalas while sniffing their fur and feces.

Bear’s great work was rewarded when the dog received the Special Recognition Award from the International Foundation for Animal Welfare in the United Kingdom.

The six-year-old Australian koolie’s amazing actions earned him a gold medal.

Bear also wears these cute shoes to protect his paws while investigating fire-ravaged areas.

Thanks to their hard work, many koalas were saved and extra pets and playtime were provided as an extra reward for the good boy.

Below is a PBS video of Bear at work…

VIDEO:

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