We feel it is reasonable to presume that most of us have heard about the Australian fires, which happened from September 2019 to March 2020 and badly harmed the country’s animals and flora. The fires were particularly catastrophic in New South Wales.
The drought and the fires that happened last year are the most severe signs of Australia’s climate disaster. Disasters such as fires and floods have wrecked farmers’ livelihoods and caused millions of dollars in damage.
Regrettably, due to these tremendous fires, a lot of animals in Australia were also either heavily harmed or dead. Around 60,000 wild koalas were killed during this disaster, making them the most vulnerable. Yet, many of them were saved because to the efforts of volunteers, firefighters, and one dog in particular.
We’d like to introduce you to Bear, a dog who saved over 100 koalas during Australia’s Blacksummer bushfires.
Meet Bear, a dog who saved over 100 koalas during the Australian bushfires
Ourpets contacted Bear’s owner and asked a few questions. Then, we enquired as to whether Bear had been specifically trained to locate Koalas. \s“ Trained specifically for koalas. A collaboration with detecting dogs for conservation at USC and IFAW—achieved with a lot of patience and perseverance.
Dogs are fantastic allies for conservation. Their noses are invaluable and effective in helping find and collect data on species in need. It drastically lowers effort and time! And it’s a win-win situation for everyone involved—rescues are valuable, and as Bear illustrated, where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
Then, we wanted to know how the concept for Bear’s Instagram account came to be.
“Everyone is online now! We already had Instagram accounts for the detection dog team, but after the bushfires, everyone wanted to know more about Bear. Therefore we utilize Facebook to share information about our work with IFAW, wildlife rescue organizations, research, and daily living.”
Bear being the amazing dog that he is we also wanted to know what his personality was like!
“Goofy and cheeky! Bear truly is a bit of a dog with poor self-confidence, but on the field he just loves life and you can feel it in his big silly smile! He’s so enthusiastic that all he wants to do all day is play! His whole focus is on collecting his toy and engaging in play. He’ll run, execute a quick drop, make a small ‘awooo’ sound, and tell you what he wants with his eyes—a toy! He needs to get some exercise or he’ll be hyper charged all day like a Duracell bunny, and he’ll let you know! He loves a pat and massage in the early morning and evening, especially on the chest.
Additionally, curiously, he LOVES the smell of pizza! It’s the one food he will watch you eat.”
Bear assisted to find koalas in need of medical assistance during the 2019-2020 bushfires. Bear’s astonishing story went viral, so we wanted to find out how the dog’s owner made about it.
“Insane! That was intimidating as this was totally new to us… Yet, everyone loves a dog with a good story! And if we can share some joy in the middle of the tragedy created by the bushfires, it would be worthwhile.”
Bear appears like a lively dog, and it made us ask whether his owner had any hilarious anecdotes to share with us.
“While we were being interviewed, someone threw the ball behind us, and Bear with his steel focus tried to run right through one of the persons being interviewed, completely KO’d the person—knocking them off their stool and into the ground! Bear carried on as if nothing had happened. He’ll make a game out of it if you can throw it and he can catch it… Bear kept bringing leaves to someone to throw, and with each throw, the leaf shrank until there was only a sliver of stem left. He placed this little little stem attached to his tongue in someone’s lap, only to be unable to provide it and instead leave a massive wet mark on the person’s clothes. This continued on for 30 minutes, and if there wasn’t another leaf left, he’d go find one.”
Lastly, we couldn’t resist but ask what was Bear’s owner’s favorite part about him.
“His character! Sometimes he reminds me of Sid from Ice Age, things don’t always look switched on… But then he switches his concentration, and you can see all the cogs working behind those eyes! One of his managers refers to him as Dobby White Walker, a reference to Harry Potter’s elf and Game of Thrones’ white walkers’ eyes!”
He is the only dog in Australia that is trained and capable of finding Koalas as he sniffs out their fur and faeces
Bear’s great work was awarded when the dog got the Special Recognition Award from the International Foundation for Animal Welfare in the UK
The amazing actions of the six-year-old Australian koolie earned him a gold medal.
Bear also gets to wear these cute shoes to protect his paws while investigating the areas devastated by the fires.
Owing to his hard work, a lot of koalas were saved, and extra pets and play time were supplied as an added award for the good boy
Below is a PBS video of Bear at work…