Culture

Everyone Is Obsessed With This Dog Who Rescues Koalas From The Bushfires

His name is Bear, and we do not deserve him.

Bear The Koala Detection Dog

If you haven’t yet heard about Bear, the koala detection dog, stop what you are doing and get ready for your heart to explode.

Bear — hardworking doggo and national treasure — is going viral for his work rescuing injured koalas caught up in our catastrophic bushfires.

Bear The Koala Detection Dog

Image Courtesy: Fiona Clark / Fiona Clark Photography.

More than a million hectares of bush has been destroyed across Australia’s east coast so far, with hundreds of koalas feared dead.

Bear’s special skills have seen him deployed to the frontlines of the Sunshine Coast’s bushfire disaster, where some of Australia’s most genetically diverse koalas live.

Bear The Koala Detection Dog

Image Courtesy: Fiona Clark / Fiona Clark Photography.

And in case you missed it, take a look at the adorable little booties he wears to protect his paws from the burnt ground.

Bear The Koala Detection Dog

Image Courtesy: Fiona Clark / Fiona Clark Photography.

Usually, Bear is used to track down live animals for conservation and research purposes. Most dogs in his line of work are used to detect koala droppings, but Bear is special — he’s the only dog in the country trained to detect live animals.

Unfortunately the thing that made him such a brilliant detection dog also made him a terrible pet, with his previous owners giving him up after he literally ate their apartment.

Luckily his talents were recognised and he was picked up by trainers with the Detection Dogs for Conservation program. The program is run through University of the Sunshine Coast and sponsored by the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

Bear The Koala Detection Dog

Image Courtesy: Fiona Clark / Fiona Clark Photography.

Koalas are a vulnerable species with habitat loss one of their biggest threats, so the bushfires have been particularly damaging.

Today koala experts met in Brisbane to discuss ways to help the animals, with $3 million available for habitat restoration.

Naturally, the internet has fallen in love with Bear and his booties.

If you spot injured wildlife, find out what to do here.


Feature Image Courtesy: Fiona Clark / Fiona Clark Photography.