Australian hero dog honored for saving koalas from bushfires
Superheroes come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes, as is the case here, they even have tails! On October 11, 2021, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) awarded Bear, an Australian Koolie, the “Animal of the Year” award. The six-year-old pooch helped save over 100 koalas from the devastating bushfires that swept across New South Wales (NSW), Australia, from June 2019 to May 2020.
“We think Bear really deserved this award because he’s been such a good boy to help us find and save a lot of koalas, especially during the bushfires, but he works throughout the year to help us in our work to create a better and safer place for koalas, ”says Bear’s administrator, Dr Romane Cristescu of the University of the Sunshine Coast. “We’ll be giving Bear some extra hugs and play for his price.” ”
The bear story is too familiar for rescue dogs. Its former owners have found its’ boundless energy and obsessive enthusiasm to play “too difficult to handle and decided to give it up for adoption. They contacted the University of the Sunshine Coast Conservation Dog Detection Team, and the one-year-old was brought in for Evaluation. Within minutes, the coaches knew he would be a perfect preservation dog. Bear possesses a enthusiastic smell. More importantly, he had no interest in killing any animals he found. All he wanted was to play!
Between November 2019 and April 2020, the brave canine managed to sniff of more than 100 stranded or injured koalas in the scorched Forests of New South Wales. In May 2020, Cristescu declared News week, “We have found koalas with burns, but many have less visible injuries. We found koalas dehydrated and with infection related to smoke inhalation. Most of the koalas were malnourished. We also found orphans – koalas too young to be alone in the bush and who had to be separated from their mothers during the fire. “
NSW’s “Black Summer” bushfires will become one of the worst wildlife disasters in modern history. the fierce blaze killed 26 people, destroyed more than 2,000 homes and burned more than 46 million acres (18.6 million hectares). World Wildlife Fund estimates fires moved nearly 3 billion animals. Worse yet, over 143 million mammals – including 6,382 koalas – 2.46 billion reptiles, 180 million birds and 51 million frogs were injured or killed.
Jasper, a therapy dog from Lancashire, England was also honored by IFAW on October 11, 2021. The six-year-old Cockapoo provided Support and reassurance to the more than 9,000 frontline workers in the various branches of hospitals in East Lancashire during the size of COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
“Jasper and Bear are two really amazing dogs, both highlighting the important and positive relationship between animals and humans, ”James Sawyer, UK director of IFAW, said in a statement.
Congratulations, Bear and Jasper!
Resources: www.ifaw.org, worldwildlife.org, abcnewsgo.com, news.yahoo.com