New South Wales: Bushfires in Australia, which have raged across the country’s east coast, have claimed the lives and habitats of hundreds of koalas. However, authorities and locals alike are doing their best to save the koala population from the devastating fires.
Among the heroes helping the koalas, is a dog named Bear, who has been helping firefighters save injured and orphaned koalas from forests.
However, the interesting thing to note here is that Bear was given up by his former owners when he was a puppy, because it didn’t make a “good pet”. He now works as a koala detection dog for the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) alongside his handler, Rianna.
According to his handlers, Bear, a border collie-Kollie cross is reportedly the only dog in the world, who can find koalas by the scent of their fur alone. Bear is made to wear socks to protect his paws and sent into into burnt-out areas to detect the Koalas by sniffing out their faeces and fur.
“These devastating fires have destroyed critical koala habitat and claimed the lives of hundreds of koalas and other native wildlife, so Bear’s powerful nose is an important asset in locating survivors,” the IFAW wrote in a post on Facebook.
The country’s koala populations have also been a major victim of the flames, with more than 350 of the marsupials feared killed in a major habitat. On Wednesday, a burnt koala was rescued by a woman named Tori in New South Wales.
The intense heat and strong winds have fueled the blazes around the country, forcing over 100 schools to close and spewing thick smoke over Sydney, leading to poor air quality, as per an Accuweather report.