A dog put on adoption because it did not make a “good pet” was recycled to save koalas from bushfires in Australia.
In recent weeks, forest fires have spread to New South Wales, Queensland and the Sunshine Coast, killing at least three people and destroying 150 homes.
The fires are spreading so quickly that firefighters have been given wide powers under the state of emergency to control government resources, forcibly evacuate and close roads.
However, a firefighting team is tasked with very specific work: rescuing wounded and orphaned koalas, who are caught in the fire.
Bear, a border collie-Kollie cross, would be the only dog in the world, according to its masters, who can find koalas only by the scent of their fur.
Bear works alongside its detection team, and travels across the country, lending its expertise to local team services.
Wearing protective socks to cover its paws, it is deployed in safe areas where koalas can be blocked. When Bear discovers a koala, its signal is to sit very still under the tree and wait to be rewarded.
Bear was originally a pet, but after being diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder, it was impounded, according to the Brisbane Times.
Although its condition may have meant that it was not a perfect pet, Sunshine Coast University staff and the International Fund for Animal Welfare who rescued him knew it would make a dog of its own. ideal detection.
According to an article posted on IFAW’s Facebook page, Bear was deployed last week on the east coast of Australia, an area now declared safe but where forest fires have destroyed koala habitats.
“These devastating fires destroyed the critical habitat of the koala and killed hundreds of koalas and other native wildlife. Bear’s powerful nose is therefore an important asset for locating survivors.
IFAW wildlife activist Josey Sharrad told the Brisbane Times: “Now, more than ever, it is essential to save individual koalas. With an intense bushfire season, it will take weeks and months before some of these fires are extinguished.
“All this time, the wildlife will continue to be saved and treated, and could remain in detention for a while, and the road to recovery will be long.”
In Sydney, home to 5 million people, health officials urged people with respiratory problems to stay indoors, as the city was covered in a “dangerous” smoke fog. About 600 schools and colleges were closed.