Bear the dog has been given a tremendous award for helping officials in the wake of the 2019-20 Australian bush fires
Thousands of koalas died during the ‘Black Summer’ bushfire, and it was up to the six-year-old Australian Koolie to find the survivors.
He was deployed to the areas affected by the fire in NSW and Queensland to find koalas who had managed to survive the fires.
Bear was recently honored for his efforts at the Animal Action Awards by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).
The IFAW said Bear “gains a special recognition award for his tireless work in finding sick and injured koalas during a major crisis”.
“His passion for the role is evident in everything he does and he is credited with locating more than 100 koalas during Australia’s Black Summer bushfires.”
“Our winners this year can teach us many valuable lessons. They teach us that we need to reflect a diverse community of animal protectors to be successful.”
“They teach us that being there for animals remains important but that animals can be there for us too.
“Critically this reminds us how interdependent we are with the animals of the world and how together we need to continue to work to improve things for all of us.”
Bear was awarded via video with his handler, Dr Romane Cristescu from the University of the Sunshine Coast, AU.
She said: “We think Bear really deserved this award because he’s been such a good boy in helping us find and rescue a lot of koalas, especially during the bushfires, but he works throughout the year to help us in our job to make a better and safer place for koalas.”
“We’ll give Bear extra pats and extra play for his award. The IFAW has been using dogs like Bear in crisis situations and conservation efforts ever since partnering with the University of the Sunshine Coast.”
Well done Bear!