In Australia’s bushfires, a special detection dog is assisting in the search for surviving koalas

As wildfires rage across Australia, a very special four-legged hero is searching for surviving koalas in the burned-out sections of the untamed lands.

Bear is a 6-year-old koala detecting dog who has undergone extensive training. After being relinquished to Detection Dogs for Conservation by his former owners who could no longer care for him, he began his career in koala detection at the age of one.

FIONA CLARK PHOTOGRAPHY

Bear was not a good family pet because he was uninterested in humans and disliked being touched. He would, however, be an ideal candidate for detection dog training.
“He was brought in for evaluation when he was around a year old. He was “The One” they had been looking for to train on live koalas within minutes. He’s high-energy, compulsive, doesn’t like to be touched, and is uninterested in humans, which unfortunately means he’s not the best family pet. However, these characteristics make him an ideal choice for a detection dog, which is why he was chosen.”

IFAW

Bear is unique since he is trained to find living koalas, unlike most detection canines that are trained to find koala scat. As a result, he is an important member of the wildlife rescue teams that are working relentlessly to find surviving koalas.

The lovely border collie/koolie mix, dressed in his vest and safety shoes, is very busy sniffing for evidence of live koalas that have been displaced, hurt, or orphaned by the fires. Despite the devastating loss of hundreds of koalas, Bear is hard at work searching for survivors among the burned-out greenery.

FIONA CLARK PHOTOGRAPHY

“Bear is laser-focused and amazing at focusing on one thing – his ball, which is his prize – making him ideal for the job. He also has no hunt drive, which is necessary for a wildlife detection dog because they must concentrate solely on the scent and ignore the animal,” according to 9News.

IFAW

Unfortunately, Bear’s task is enormous, and there appears to be no end in sight, despite the fact that recent rains have aided firefighting efforts.

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