Hero dog saves injured koalas from Australian bushfires

Metro 3 weeks ago
Koalas injured in Australian bushfires recover at Treatment centre in New South Wales (Picture: Getty)
Koalas injured in Australian bushfires recover at Treatment centre in New South Wales (Picture: Getty)

A rescue dog was sent into the wreckage of Australian bushfires to sniff out stranded koala bears.

The dog, named Bear, helped save the injured koalas following wildfires which devastated swathes of New South Wales (NSW).

Wearing socks to protect his paws, he went into into burnt-out areas to detect the native Australian animals by sniffing out their faeces and fur.

Bear was given up by his former owners as he was not well suited to life as a pet because he was intelligent and highly energetic.

He now works as a koala detection dog for the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) alongside his handler, Rianna.

When the pet-turned-rescue dog smells a koala, he sits very still to alert Rianna that an animal is nearby.

PORT MACQUARIE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 19: An injured koala receives treatment after its rescue from a bushfire at the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital on November 19, 2019 in Port Macquarie, Australia. (Photo by Tao Shelan/China News Service/VCG via Getty Images)
Bear the rescue dog has helped save injured koalas like this one (Picture: Visual China Group)
Undated handout photo issued by Fiona Clark of Bear the dog, as he has been helping save injured koalas following devastating bushfires in Australia. PA Photo. Issue date: Tuesday November 19, 2019. Wearing socks to protect his paws, he is sent into safe burnt-out areas to try and sniff out koala faeces and fur. See PA story ENVIRONMENT Koala. Photo credit should read: Fiona Clark/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
The brave dog goes into the wreckage of bushfires to find stranded wildlife (Picture PA)

The pair joined a search and rescue effort in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, where weeks of bushfires has killed six people.

The teams searched an Indigenous Protected Area, Ngunya Jargoon, near Wardell, which has been ravaged by two fires in the past month.

The conditions were against Bear, with strong winds making it hard to pinpoint exact locations.

However, he detected koalas  at a number of locations, allowing the rescue team to go in an save them.

IFAW’s wildlife campaigner, Josey Sharrad, said: ‘Now, more than ever, saving individual koalas is critical.

‘With such an intense start to the bushfire season, it will be many weeks and months before some of these fires are out. All the while, wildlife will continue to need to be rescued and treated and may remain in care for some time.

Undated handout photo issued by Fiona Clark of Bear the dog, as he has been helping save injured koalas following devastating bushfires in Australia. PA Photo. Issue date: Tuesday November 19, 2019. Wearing socks to protect his paws, he is sent into safe burnt-out areas to try and sniff out koala faeces and fur. See PA story ENVIRONMENT Koala. Photo credit should read: Fiona Clark/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
Bear finds the koalas by sniffing their fur and faeces (picture: PA)
A burnt koala named Anwen, rescued from Lake Innes Nature Reserve, receives formula at the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital ICU in Port Macquarie, Australia November 7, 2019. Picture taken November 7, 2019. REUTERS/Stefica Nicol Bikes
Thanks to bear, the animals can be cared for at Port Macquarie Koala Hospital ICU in Port Macquarie, Australia (Picture: Reuters)
There are fears for wildlife as bushfire continues to rage in New South Wales Picture: Koala Hospital Port Macquarie/Facebook)
There are fears for wildlife as bushfire continues to rage in New South Wales Picture: Koala Hospital Port Macquarie/Facebook)

‘The road to recovery will be long. The impact on local communities will be felt for many months, and the toll on native wildlife and critical habitat will never truly be known.

‘Northern Rivers koalas are already struggling with prolonged drought, excessive land clearing and development, stress-related disease, dog attacks and car strikes. These animals need us now more than ever.’

People in Sydney woke up to a city shrouded in smoke on Tuesday, as scores of bushfires rage across the region.

Strong winds overnight brought smoke from fires inland, pushing the air quality in Australia’s largest city to beyond “hazardous” levels at times.

On social media, locals have described hazy skies and the stench of smoke in their homes.

About five million people live in the state capital of New South Wales, which has been affected for weeks by fires.


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New York Post › 3 weeks ago
SYDNEY – An obsessive-compulsive dog who was abandoned as a puppy has a new mission: helping find and save koalas injured in Australia’s recent devastating bushfires. Bear, a Cattle Dog cross-breed, is trained to find both koalas and quolls...
The New York Times › 3 weeks ago
An obsessive compulsive dog who was abandoned as a puppy has a new mission: helping find and save koalas injured in Australia's recent devastating bushfires.
Reuters › 3 weeks ago
An obsessive compulsive dog who was abandoned as a puppy has a new mission: helping find and save koalas injured in Australia's recent devastating bushfires.
Metro › 2 weeks ago
Firecrews are desperately trying to save koalas from bushfires which have ravaged Australia for weeks.
CNN › 1 month ago
More than 350 koalas are feared to have been killed by bushfires in Australia's New South Wales state, animal experts say.
Mirror Online › 2 weeks ago
Australian Koala Foundation and the country's Prime Minister Scott Morrison have called on more to be done to protect koalas, of which 1,000 died in the recent bushfires
CBS News › 1 week ago
Hundreds of koalas have been killed and large swaths of their habitat have been destroyed by raging bushfires in Australia over the past few weeks. While recent reports of the Australian koala's imminent extinction have been debunked, the country's...
Evening Standard › 3 weeks ago
A dog has been bravely saving koala bears from the bushfires in Australia.
The Guardian › 1 week ago
Volunteers from the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital work alongside National Parks and Wildlife Service crew to treat koalas rescued from devastating bushfires
Daily Mail Online › 1 week ago
The heartbreaking footage was released by Port Stephens Koalas, in the Hunter region of NSW, which has been caring for koalas from fires in Hillville, Old Bar, and Rainbow Flats.
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