Dog Reсeived An Awаrd Of Hоnor For Sаving Over 100 Koаlas During The Bushfirеs

We believe it’s fair to say that most of us have heard about the Australian bush fires that happened from September 2019 to March 2020 and heavily impacted the wildlife and flora of the country. The fires were the worst around the state of New South Wales.

The drought and the fires that happened last year are the most urgent symptoms of Australia’s climate crisis. Disasters like the fires and floods have devastated the livelihoods of farmers and wrought millions of dollars worth of damage.

Unfortunately, due to these intense fires, a lot of animals in Australia were also either heavily injured or died. Koalas living in the wild have been affected the most as over 60,000 of them suffered during this tragedy. However, a lot of them were also saved thanks to kind people working as volunteers, firefighters, and one dog in particular.

Today we’d like for you to meet Bear, a dog who saved more than 100 koalas during Australia’s Blacksummer bushfires.

Meet Bear, a dog who saved over 100 koalas during the Australian bushfires

Bored Panda reached out to Bear’s owner with a few questions. First, we asked about whether Bear was specifically trained to sniff out Koalas.

“Trained specifically for koalas. A partnership with the detection dogs for conservation at USC and IFAW—achieved with a lot of patience and persistent training.

Dogs are great partners for conservation. Their noses are invaluable and effective in helping find and collect data on species in need. It cuts the effort and time substantially! And it’s a win-win for everyone involved—rescues are worth it, and as you can tell with Bear, when there’s a will, there’s a way.”

Then, we wanted to know how the idea for Bear’s Instagram account came to be.

“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. So we use it to share about the work we do with IFAW, wildlife rescue organisations, the research and day to day life.”

Bear being the special dog that he is we also wanted to know what his personality was like!

“Goofy and cheeky! Bear actually is a bit of a dog with low self-confidence, but in the field he just loves life and you can see it in his big goofy face! throughout the day all he wants to do is play, he’s high-energy! His focus is solely on getting his toy and play. He’ll run, do a quick drop, make a little ‘awooo’ noise, and tell you with his eyes what he wants—a toy! He needs exercise or else he’s like a Duracell bunny for the whole day—hyper charged—and he lets you know it! In the early morning and evening, he loves a pat and massage, particularly on the chest.

Also, weirdly, he LOVES the smell of pizza! It’s the one food he will stare and watch you eat”

Bear’s incredible story went viral, so we wanted to ask the dog’s owner about how it made them feel.

“Insane! It was daunting as this was brand new to us… but everyone loves a dog with a good story! And if we can share some positivity amidst all the devastation of the bushfires, it’s worth it.”

Bear seems like a lively dog, and that made us question whether 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 steel focus tried to run right through one of the people being interviewed, absolutely KO’d the person—knocking them off their stool and onto the ground! Bear just kept going as if nothing had happened. If you can throw it and he can catch it, he’ll make a game of it… Bear kept bringing leaves to someone to throw, and with each throw, the leaf got smaller, to the point there was only a tiny piece of stem left. He brought this tiny little stem stuck to his tongue right in someone’s lap, only to not be able to offer it and instead left a big wet patch on the person’s trousers. This went on for 30 minutes, and if there was no leaf left, he’d go find another.”

Lastly, we couldn’t help but ask what was Bear’s owner’s favorite thing about him.

“His character! Sometimes he reminds me of Sid from Ice Age, things don’t always seem switched on… but then he turns his focus on and it’s like you can see all the cogs turn behind those eyes! One of his handlers calls him Dobby White Walker, a reference to Harry Potter’s elf and the white walkers’ eyes from Game of Thrones!”

He is the only dog in Australia that is trained and capable of finding Koalas as he sniffs out their fur and faeces



Bear’s amazing work was awarded as the dog received the Special Recognition Award by the International Fund for Animal Welfare in the UK



The six-year-old Australian koolie was given a golden medal for his heroic feats



Bear also gets to wear these cute shoes to protect his paws when he goes to investigate the areas damaged by the fires




Thanks to his hard work, a lot of koalas were saved, and extra pets and play time were provided as an additional award for the good boy

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