Last week, Australia’s New South Wales suffered from unprecedented bushfires, with blazes engulfing the suburb city and some parts of its outskirts. 

Apart from rescue workers and firefighters working hard to control the situation, a dog, named Bear, was also part of the operation undertaken to rescue injured and orphaned koalas. 


According to UNILAD, Bear, the Border Collie-Koolie cross, has been specially trained to smell koala fur and faeces from a long distance. 

Using this instinct, Bear was able to alert his handler and help the rescue team locate koalas that needed immediate medical attention. 

Daily Mail

To ensure Bear’s safety, he was made to wear special socks to protect his paws. 

Apart from that, he was trained to sit very still at burnt-out areas, where the possibility of finding koalas was more than anywhere else. 

Daily Star

After taking part in a rescue mission in New South Wales and Queensland, Bear will head to one of the worst affected areas, Cooroibah, north of Noosa on the Sunshine Coast. 

Courier Mail

Bear was originally rescued from a pound and was suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder, meaning he was not interested to play or behave like other dogs. 

He was then trained to find koalas at the Sunshine Coast University in Queensland. 

Study Abroad

Speaking to Brisbane Times, IFAW campaigner, Joey Sharrad, explained why Bear’s role is so important. 

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 might remain in care for some time. The road to recovery will be long.

Thanks to Bear’s efforts, a partially-burnt koala was rescued on Monday and is being treated by vets. He was later named Flash and is said to be out of danger.