Australian dog recognized for efforts to rescue koalas trapped in Australian bushfires | Life
KUALA LUMPUR, October 20 – Bear the Australian dog who rescued 100 koalas from the black summer bushfires in Australia has been recognized for his efforts.
The six year old Koolie, an Australian breed, was recently awarded a Special Medal from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) in the House of Lords, Daily mail reported.
Bear handler Romane Cristescu said she couldn’t be prouder of the former rescue dog, saying he would get a lot of extra petting and play time for his prize.
“He has been such a good boy helping us find and save a lot of koalas, especially during the bushfires, but he works throughout the year to help us in our work to create a better place. and safer for koalas.
The dog was abandoned by his former owners due to his obsessive-compulsive disorder which prevented him from playing well with other dogs.
However, this made him a great candidate for the University of the Sunshine Coast’s Detection Dogs for Conservation program.
Bear was trained to recognize the scent of koala fur and was credited with saving more than 100 marsupials during the 2019-2020 bushfires after their habitats were engulfed in flames.
The herding dog learned to silently drop to the ground at the base of a tree when it detected their scent, making sure the habitat was undisturbed and helping his team locate koalas that might need medical treatment.
The team is working with IFAW and local wildlife conservation groups to find and rescue koalas in areas affected by bushfires.
The bear is the only dog in the world trained to sniff both koala fur and koala droppings.
It is estimated that more than three billion animals have died during this bushfire season and more than 24 million hectares of land have been burned.
Besides Bear, Jasper the cockapoo was named ‘Animal of the Year’ for his work supporting frontline staff during the Covid pandemic.