A dog who saved more than 100 koalas from bushfires in Australia last year has been honored with a gold medal for his bravery.
When he assisted in rescuing several koalas from the devastating Black Summer bushfires last year, Bear the Australian koolie demonstrated his prowess as a rescue dog.
In honor of his efforts, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) presented 6-year-old Bear with the special recognition award during a ceremony held at the UK House of Lords last month.
In order to collect recognition for his work, Bear attended via video connection at the Animal Action Awards with his handler Dr. Romane Cristescu of the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC).
“We believe that Bear deserves to win this prize. He’s been such a wonderful guy in assisting us in locating and rescuing numerous koalas, particularly during the bushfires, but he works all year to support us in our endeavors to provide a better and safer environment for koalas, according to Cristescu, as reported by 9News.
We’ll give Bear more pats and additional playtime in honor of his medal, she continued.
In a press statement issued by USC on October 26, Dr. Cristescu stated: “Bear and our team are collaborating with IFAW to examine the impacts of the 2019–20 bushfires on koala health and habitat density.
In addition, Bear often works with neighborhood rescue organizations to find koalas for welfare rescue operations. As part of the various research projects carried out by Detection Dogs for Conservation, he is always willing to lend a paw in the search for koalas.
In order to monitor koalas that need to be rescued, Dr. Cristescu and the USC Detection Dogs for Conservation team acquire and train rescue dogs.
Dr. Cristescu stated in a previous interview that Bear’s talents at discovering stranded koalas are what made him a more demanding pet.
“When we seek for a new dog, we let everyone know about the rescue organizations since sometimes what we look for in a dog makes them challenging dogs,” she added. Hence, the fixation with playing with strong intensity.
The Australian state of New South Wales saw its worst-ever wildfire season in 2019–20.
According to the Australian Government-run Australian Disaster Resilience Knowledge Hub, 26 people died, 2,338 dwellings were damaged, and 5.5 million hectares of land were burned in a matter of months.
Additionally, it stated that the “unprecedented” effects will be felt by the state’s residents, farmers, small companies, animals, and bushland.