With Australia being plagued by wildfires, a dog named Bear who was abandoned for having an obsessive-compulsive disorder has been saving injured Koalas in the devastating wildfires. The country's Koala population has been under constant threat due to the bushfires, with 350 feared dead in a major Koala habitat.
Bear, a cattle-dog cross-breed, has been trained to find two Australian Marsupial species, Koalas and Quolls in the habitats that have been affected by the wildfires. According to reports, Bear who is usually tasked to find injured or sick wildlife for research and conservation in suitable conditions has been wearing protective socks on his paws to search through the affected areas.
Meet Bear,6yr. old border collie/koolie mix with striking blue eyes.Given up by former owners as unfit for pet,being highly energetic. As #NSWfires ravages koala habitat,bear is now part of IFAW, saving the endangered species.Only dog to sniff live koala's. Show him some love 😍 pic.twitter.com/PA3YNEcd0k— CoP (@CommonManOfPune) November 21, 2019
Bear has been assigned the responsibility to rescue a dozen Koalas for conservation and research purposes, however, he is yet to rescue any of the Koalas and Quolls in the bushfire affected areas.
Bear's Handler, Romane Cristescu, said that it the first time such a situation has arisen and is a bit more dangerous than their usual work. He further added that Koalas have been facing a major threat from the bushfires alongside climate change, diseases and loss of habitat and added that they really needed to do a better job at protecting them.
Australians have raised nearly $140,000 through an online fundraiser to protect one of the country's iconic animals, Koala. The wildlife authorities informed the global media outlets that due to the fires, hundreds of genetically diverse Koalas have perished.
The Rural Fire Service of the New South Wales region (NSW RFS) said that due to bush fires at least 150 houses in eastern Australia have been destroyed, three people are reported to be dead, seven are still missing and almost 30 people had been wounded.
Wendy Afford who started the fundraiser believes that it was just one way to help the survival of koalas and other wildlife by providing access to water to reduce further deaths from dehydration. The money raised will be distributed among the drinking stations in the fire-affected areas, and if more money is raised, they might even transfer funds to Koala habitat across the state.
(With inputs from agencies)