Tragedy has struck Australia’s east coast as bushfires have burned down nearly 2.5 million acres. This spelt out disaster not only for the people living there but for the animals as well. Koalas were already classified as ‘vulnerable’ by The Red List of Threatened Species but the bushfire endangered them even more. This is where Bear comes in. He is a koala detection dog who has been deployed to the damaged areas of Queensland.


Now I’m sure you are wondering what a koala detection dog is since it sounds quite unusual. Bear is a border collie/koolie who has been specially trained to sniff out and detect sick, displaced, orphaned and injured koalas in the wild. This expertise comes into use when finding koalas who survived the bushfire yet are severely injured.

More info: IFAW Australia

Image credits: IFAW Australia

The International Fund for Animal Welfare posted the following on their Facebook page about Bear “Our koala detection dog Bear is bringing a glimmer of hope for koalas suffering from Australia’s deadly bushfires—but these animals need more heroes to save them from this ongoing disaster. Our koala detection dog Bear is an integral part of these rescue efforts. He was recently deployed to southeast Queensland and one of the hardest-hit areas of New South Wales where the bushfires decimated local koala populations. Bear is one of the few detection dogs who can locate live koalas through the scent of their fur.”

Image credits: IFAW Australia

“With winds up to 30km, the conditions were not ideal for Bear’s tracking, but he indicated possible koalas at a number of spots. Thanks to Bear’s work, we know that there are live koalas in the area and we will continue to search to rescue any koalas who need our help” IFAW posted on a blog post of theirs.

Image credits: IFAW Australia

For a job such as koala detection, a dog is supposed to have a very specific skill set such as having no interest in people, being hyper-focused and without a prey-drive. Luckily, Bear fits this description perfectly. Having previously been a home pet, Bear was abandoned by his previous owners and brought to Detection Dogs for Conservation. Even though the working conditions seem rather harmful, Bear is being taken well care of. His handler always accompanies him and he has been given special protective socks for his paws.

Image credits: IFAW Australia

Bear is quite the hero who has braved the dangerous terrains to help save the koala population in Australia. And he does this all while melting hearts with his gorgeous blue eyes. 10/10 a good boy!

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