The bushfires in Australia have been going on for months now and according to estimates, half a billion animals have lost their lives as a result.
These numbers are shocking and heartbreaking; however, there are still rescuers who haven’t given up finding survivors that need help.
One such rescuer is a dog named Bear- this blue-eyed border collie mix works together with people from the University of Sunshine Coast Detection Dogs for Conservation and sniffs out ill, orphaned, and injured koalas through Queensland and NSW.
The amazing dog was trained by USC academics.
Bear the Dog Has Been Pivotal in the Rescue of Koalas
According to Senior Research Fellow from USC Detection Dogs, Dr. Celine Frere, Bear has helped them find sick and injured koalas and has been called to help search for koalas in the areas destroyed by fires.
Since dogs are able to smell what we can’t see, they’re often used to track rare animals, find pest species, and locate native plants that are threatened.
This is why their role in conservation is immense.
Who Is Bear & Why Is He so Important?
While still a puppy, Bear was bought from a pet shop by a family; however, he was a bit of a handful when the family decided to move to a smaller home.
Bear was highly-energetic, obsessive, and entirely uninterested in people, which doesn’t make him a good pet for a family.
However, these qualities make him the ideal candidate for a detection dog and this is what he became.
Today, at the age of 6, he’s focused and brilliant in finding what he wants- his ball is his reward. He’s entirely focused on the scent and ignores the animal.
Bear is special among other rescue dogs as he’s trained to sniff fresh koala scat. This is why he can lead rescuers in the saving of koalas, although they may be high up in the trees.
Bear the Dog Became Popular
Bear is already popular- after his story went viral, he’s been praised by actors like Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks on social media.
Hanks said that there’s a need of making a Disney movie about Bear’s story and that Bear is adorable and that he likes Bear.
The Detection Dogs for Conservation wrote in a social media post that they’re unsure if the attention he got is because of his blue eyes, attractive red boots or his heartwarming story from an unwanted family dog to a superstar, but there are so many amazing people doing so much more for wildlife and they also deserve being recognized.