Dogs have been very instrumental in doing rescue missions. Their keen sense of smell, good vision, and agility are useful in locating people in distress.
Earlier this year, Australia experienced massive bushfires, which lasted for weeks. It destroyed not only people’s homes but also the animals’ natural habitat. The bushfire also claimed the lives of animals endemic to Australia. Photos of the bushfire circulated on the Internet are heartbreaking.
Koalas are endemic to Australia. Australians consider them as a natural treasure. Koalas are well-protected as they are regarded as a vulnerable animal by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. The recent bushfire killed a lot of koalas, which further affected the number of living koalas in the world.
Local and international organizations help in rescuing animals trapped in the bushfires.
One of the organizations that helped in the rescue of animals trapped in the bushfire is the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). One of the rescuers in their team is a dog named Bear.
Bear is a 6-year-old border collie mix and is one of the koala detection dogs in Australia. Before he became a koala detection dog, he was abandoned by his former owners and was brought to Detection Dogs for Conservation. He was trained to locate koalas that are sick, missing, orphaned, and injured in the wild by sniffing its fur.
To become a koala detection dog, it must have no interest in people, have a high level of concentration, and do not have prey instincts (not attacking koalas).
For this mission, Bear was deployed at Queensland to find the koalas trapped in the bushfire.
When he’s at work, Bear is wearing a vest. He is also wearing boots to protect his paws from heat.
Rescuers are hopeful that with the help of Bear, they would be able to rescue a lot of koalas which are now on the brink of extinction.
Continue to save koalas in the wild, Bear!
Photos courtesy of ifaw via Facebook