Clip | Australian Bushfire Rescue - Meet Bear, the Koala Detection Dog

A month after wildfires devastated a wildlife sanctuary, an expert was brought in to find injured koalas: a koala detection dog named Bear. Detection dogs can locate koalas up to 20 times faster than human searchers.

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- [Narrator] Back on Australia's east coast, it's been a month since fires devastated James's wildlife sanctuary.

If there are any remaining koalas here, they'll be on the brink of starvation and almost impossible to find.

So James has called in an expert.

- Bear's a koala detection dog.

He's got a lot of high energy and he really likes finding koalas.

- Hey.

Ooh, Bear-Bear, you ready?

Go find.

- He can pick up a very fine scent of a koala.

- [Narrator] Detection dogs can locate koalas up to 20 times faster than human searches.

It's a method pioneered by ecologist and trainer Dr. Romane Cristescu.

- Bear is trained on koala fur, so basically he does a search and then when he smells that scent, he drops.

And then I'll catch up with him and he's usually keep going until the next patch of scent.

And so hopefully by the end of that trail, we'll find a koala.

- [Narrator] But there's no knowing if the trail he's following today will lead to a live koala.

- I think I'm finishing with that patch.

Do you wanna keep moving to the next one?

- [James] Any idea of where we're going next?

- [Romane] I reckon the hill.

James, he's indicating.

- Ah, there.

- Yeah.

Excellent.

Good boy, Bear.

Good boy.

- [Narrator] Bear's sensitive nose has located another survivor, who can now be saved from inevitable starvation.