This one-year-old dog with striking blue eyes who hails from Australia was rescued last year by the joint efforts of the International Foundation For Animal Welfare (IFAW) and The University of The Sunshine Coast where he began and excelled in his training to become a koala detection dog.

Bear Had A Difficult Start In Life

Originally sold as a family pet, Bear proved to be too high energy and obsessed with play for his owners, who tried their best but could not keep up with him. Oddly, the very qualities that made him unsuitable as a family pet made him ideal for becoming one of three dogs undergoing training with the University's Detection Dog Program. (See: Bella The Arson Dog.)


Hero Bear
Photo: IFAW

Koalas Are An Endangered Species

Koalas are considered animals that are vulnerable to extinction because of the many dangers they face every day of their lives. These marsupials are constantly put at risk due to a wide array of situations including: bush-fires,drought, disease, road traffic and attacks by domestic dogs. The greatest pressing danger at this time concerns the logging of blue gum eucalyptus trees. Elusive koalas are often injured when loggers work on eucalyptus plantations because the human eye cannot easily detect a koala mother and her baby (joey) hiding so high up in the trees. This is why Bear and other koala detection dogs are so important. If the presence of koala is detected, plantation work can be delayed while the animals either move or are relocated. (See: Hero Horse Saves Owner From Coyote Attack.)

Both Dogs And Koalas Get A Second Chance At Life

According to Josie Sharrad, IFAW Australia's Native Wildlife Campaigner: "Koalas are in crisis across Australia and this project also allows us to rescue dogs from death row to help us save koalas. Not many dogs have what it takes to be a detection dog, but Bear is the perfect candidate...Bear is the only koala detection canine in his class to make the grade so far. He has passed all his preliminary tests with flying colors. So it's a win, win-both dogs and koalas get a second chance at life." (See: Abigail The Pit Bull.)

Bear has been scientifically proven to detect koala scent with a 96% success rate. He is also able to distinguish with 95% accuracy the scent of koala from that of other marsupials. Fur samples from koalas at the Australia Zoo are sourced to be used by trainers who use the fur to to hide scent in specific testing areas. Bear's trainer is now using a device to launch scent high up into the trees to emulate a koala's natural position. Bear is successfully locating odor at around a 15 to 20 foot height. Tracking down koalas is all connected to a game of ball, which for Bear is the most fun of all. After a successful track, he is rewarded with the ball. (See: Donkey Saves Family From Wild Dog Attack)

Bear leaves his human colleagues very impressed with his performance in tracking koalas. He will soon go one step further and test his detection skills against humans and even drones. His future is secure, and those dogs that have not passed the difficult training, the University has placed in loving homes. (See: Heroic Dog Attacks Suicide Bomber.)

Good job Bear!

See also: Bretagne

Source : Gay Star News