Hero Border Collie named Bear braves bushfires to save stricken koalas by sniffing them out
The Border Collie-Koolie cross is the only dog that can sniff out koala fur.
Wearing socks to protect his paws, he is sent into safe burnt-out areas.
He walks around and then sits very still to alert handler when koala is near.
Bear has been deployed in fire areas in New South Wales and Queensland.
A dog named Bear has been helping firefighters save injured and orphaned koalas from forests left devastated by bushfires. The Border Collie-Koolie cross is the only dog in the world that can sniff out both koala faeces and fur. Wearing socks to protect his paws, he is sent into safe burnt-out areas and sits very still to alert his handler when a koala is near.
Animal charity IFAW shared photos of Bear in action on Monday in a post which read: 'Unfortunately no signs of koalas were found, but we are hopeful that survivors will be found in nearby areas.'
Bear was abandoned by his owners because he has obsessive compulsive disorder which means he does not like to play.
He was rescued from a pound by Sunshine Coast University where he was trained to find koalas and is now based.
IFAW campaigner Josey Sharrad explained why Bear's job is so important.' Now, more than ever, saving individual koalas is critical,' he told the Brisbane Times.
'With such an intense start to the bushfire season, it will be many weeks and months before some of these fires are out,' he said. 'All the while, wildlife will continue to need to be rescued and treated, and might remain in care for some time. The road to recovery will be long.'
On Monday a burnt koala was among those rescued in New South Wales. The koala named Flash was found in Taree with burns so severe he had to be sedated before treatment.
Here's the story of a little koala who for a moment thought his mum was a dog.
After falling from a nearby tree the little joey was confused and scared. Luckily it found un unlikely hero, Tony the dog in an Adelaide Hills home.
Tony must have been confused by this strange, cute little creature clinging to his back, but he seemed to understand the little joey was in distress.
There is a happy ending. The little joey eventually said goodbye to his new friend Tony after climbing off and scurrying back to his mother in a nearby tree.
A koala that was hit by a car and dragged at high speed along a busy highway for kilometres has astounded wildlife carers with a speedy recovery.
The young female was attempting to cross the Pacific Highway, north of Kempsey on the New South Wales Mid North Coast, when she was struck by a car and became caught in its front grille.
Cheyne Flanagan, the clinical director at the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, said when she heard what had happened she expected the animal to be severely injured. "I am not sure if the gentleman driving knew he had hit her or not," Ms Flanagan said. "[She] was dragged 10km along the highway, with the back legs down.
The koala, which has been named Wazza, was estimated to be only three years old.
She has been in the care of staff at the koala hospital since the accident a week and a half ago.
She has had the bandages removed from her legs and feet and has been moved from the intensive care unit into one of the hospital's outside yards to move freely.
"The big problem is where we should release her — there's not a lot of trees where she came from," Ms Flanagan said." When we pick up a koala we try to put them back generally within 500m of their capture point."
They have home ranges and if you try and put them anywhere away from their home ranges they'll go back to them, and then they have to run the gauntlet yet again of cars and traffic and fences."
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