Down Under Dog Is Sniffing Out and Saving Dozens of Koalas
Bear is a pro at picking up the slightest trace of these Australian ‘bears’ and tracking them down with his curious nose.
According to Express, the Border Collie/Koolie mix has been ‘hired’ by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and underwent training to perfect his skills and become an official Koala Detection Dog.
Pups like Bear are used to find and relocate koalas who are in the path of logging companies and risk being killed or injured by felled trees.
IFAW is eager to get more dogs in the koala detection field, since the marsupials are facing extinction due to habitat destruction, drought, disease, wildfires and traffic.
Bear, a rescue dog, joined two other canines at the University of the Sunshine Coast’s Detection Dog Program, and was the only pup to pass, being able to to detect the scent of koala with a 96 percent success rate.
Now Bear is out in the field, saving koala lives every day and will soon undergo more intensive training that will compare his nose to the detection skills of humans and drones.
This gift saved Bear’s life, as well.
“Bear has an unfortunately all too common backstory. Purchased as a puppy, his family was disheartened to discover that his high energy and extreme toy-drive was too much for them to handle,” Josey Sharrad, IFAW’s native wildlife campaigner in Australia, told Express. “Luckily for Bear, that’s when the team found him, and, in partnership with IFAW, were able to give him a second chance. And now, Bear will be able to give a second chance to koalas.”