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Koala-sniffing rescue dogs are saving wildlife in Oz

Rescue dogs protecting Aussie wildlife dog-serious
© Ifaw UK - Facebook

These amazing rescue dogs have been trained to sniff out live koalas and take them to safety, reminding us again just how lucky we are to have dogs.

By Natasha James

Published on the 20/11/2019, 13:00, Updated on the 08/02/2021, 13:36

Destructive wildfires

The wildfires in Australia are raging and causing destruction in their wake. This is bad news for nearby residents and terrible news for the region’s wild animal populations. It’s thought that some 350 koalas have been killed by the New South Wales bushfires.

Posted by ifaw on Monday, November 18, 2019

Thankfully though, the animals have a little helping hand in the form of rescue dog, Bear. The Border Collie-Koolie cross is a detection dog trained to sniff out live koalas and koala fur. A simple bark or two from Bear lets his handlers know that there are live koalas in the area that need rescuing.

Natural working dogs

Border Collies are active working dogs and well suited to life in the great outdoors. They are intelligent and quick to learn and also respond very well to praise!

Posted by ifaw on Monday, November 18, 2019

Bear has energy and enthusiasm for work, making him the perfect temperament for rescuing. His handler had this to say,

“As a young, intelligent and high-energy dog, his energy made him less suitable as a pet and had led him to be put up for adoption again by early owners. So, training him as a koala detection dog also gives him a secure future," Sterling said.

And it’s not just Bear, four year-old Springer Spaniel Taylor has also been helping rescue teams to spot koalas.

She recently saved a mother koala and her joey.


Some of the koalas recovering at the hospital.

Posted by TATE Animal Training Enterprises on Monday, November 18, 2019

We don’t know what we did to deserve dogs but we’re very lucky to have them around.