Abandoned dog becomes koala rescuer after wildfires burn down habitat in Australia

Abandoned dog with a rough past is now a part of the animal rescue team looking for koalas and wallabies which have survived bushfires in Australia.

Koala mitten appeal gets huge response after Australia bushfires burn their pawsIBTimes UK

An adorable Border Collie and Koolie dog crossbreed has become a hero in the Australian bushlands. "Bear," the koala rescuing dog has been helping rescuers look for surviving wildlife in the aftermath of bushfires in New South Wales, Queensland and Cooroibah. The dog with an unhappy past is now the only dog in the world that can sniff out koala faeces and fur.

Bear's owners had abandoned him at a pound due to his obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). He was later trained at Sunshine Coast University to sniff out koala and wallabies by tracking the scent of their fur and excrements. The sharp-nosed dog is currently the only dog in the world who can successfully track down koalas using his sense of smell.

While firefighters are still trying to put out bushfires in Australia, Bear has embarked on his mission to save the survivors of the fires.

Advertisement
Bear can sniff out koalas Getty Images

Every year, bushfires decimate the habitat of koalas. However, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) campaigner Josey Sharrad pointed out that the bushfires this year have been more devastating than in the past. Sharrad added that the fires may take weeks and even months to be put out. Hence, it is important for wildlife rescuers to reach animals before they get trapped, or right after an area has been cleared of flames.

Bear, with protective socks on his feet, has been combing areas where firefighting teams have managed to put out fires. IFAW shared pictures of Bear on the field. Rescuers are yet to find surviving koalas in the burnt down habitats. Chances are,the remaining population of koalas in the area has fled to safer parts of the forest. Rescuers will try to reach them before fires spread to those areas.

The Daily Mail pointed out that the unique dog was abandoned at a young age by his owners because he had OCD. Bear's OCD made him less playful than other dogs. OCD in dogs is a manageable condition which Bear's owners refused to deal with. Because of his slightly irregular nature, Bear was cruelly abandoned by his owners. By leveraging Bear's compulsive tendencies, his adopters at Sunshine Coast University were able to train him to be a unique wildlife rescue animal.

© Copyright 2019 IBTimes Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.