In Australian bushfires dogs are becoming the savior of the affected koalas

Koalas have been hit particularly hard by Australia’s raging bushfires. In this situation, they have been saved by another creature- a dog.

A team of Australian scientists has already started preparing for upcoming bushfires. They use a sniffer dog to rescue koalas in trouble hoping they don't lose a massive amount of them as they did in the previous bushfires.

One billion animals are claimed to have died since the last fires, including 6,300 koalas in New South Wales alone. Mathew Crowther, an associate professor at the University of Sydney who specializes in wildlife ecology said, "We haven't had fires of this scale and intensity before, so we are in uncharted territory." He added, "It may take a long time for the ecosystems to recover, and some may not be the same, particularly if they have lost species."

Koalas also breed so slowly that it could take 100 years for them to evolve. Saving just one koala is significant. 

Bear, a five-year-old dog has been doing the task of saving these mammals very bravely. It has rescued 100 such mammals in the affected areas of New South Wales and Queensland. Bear is a dog with an obsessive-compulsive disorder, that has been helping animal rescuers by sniffing out the marsupials in burnt-out forests.

The mutt, a cattle dog hybrid, is aptly suited to do the duty, as he is trained to search for both koalas and quolls – another small Australian marsupial – in the forest.

The University of the Sunshine Coast (USC)said, “Bear has helped us locate sick and injured koalas and has recently been called to search for koalas in habitats ravaged by fires.”

“This is the first year that we have been involved in the fires. It is a bit more dangerous than what we usually do,” said Romane Cristescu, Bear’s minder and ecologist at the university. When asked about saving the koalas, Mr. Cristescu said: "With climate change, habitat loss and diseases, koalas are just facing too many threats. Those fires are just one of the many things threatening them so we really need to be better at protecting them."

The bear was abandoned due to its OCD but now is he ruling over the internet and winning the hearts of so many people. Several celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks praised the dog for its efforts.

Numerous dogs from various organizations have also been given the task to search for koalas during the fires.

 

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