The bushfires that hit Australia in 2019 and 2020 had a huge impact on the continent’s wildlife. Many animals lost their habitats, were injured, or unfortunately lost their lives. The consequences might have been even worse if it wasn’t for a brave dog named Bear.
This Australian Koolie was one of the heroic figures of the efforts to minimize the harm caused by the bushfires. He helped save more than 100 koalas using his tracing skills to find injured or trapped specimens, which allowed rescue teams to treat them and get them to safety.
Impressed with Bear’s heroics in tough times, the International Fund for Animal Welfare recently decided to honor the courageous canine with an Animal Action Award at the ceremony held in London’s House of Lords. While Bear couldn’t come to receive it in person, he did make a virtual appearance.
Bear, who is part of the University of the Sunshine Coast’s Detection Dogs for Conservation team, also received an appropriate gift to keep him entertained when he’s taking a break from heroism.
“We think Bear really deserved this award because he’s been such a good boy in helping us find and rescue a lot of koalas, especially during the bushfires, but he works throughout the year to help us in our job to make a better and safer place for koalas,” said Dr. Romane Cristescu, who serves as Bear’s handler. “We’ll give Bear extra pats and extra play for his award.”
Bear became a part of the Detection Dogs for Conservation Team after being abandoned by his owners. He is regarded as the team’s most capable member thanks to his ability to find koalas based on the scent of their fur. In fact, the brave doggo is so popular that he has his own Instagram page. Check out some of his adventures below.