Conservation dogs are being used to sniff out injured koalas as the devastating bushfires continue in Australia. Taylor, a four-year-old Springer Spaniel has been trained to sniff out their fur and their scats. Over 30,000 koalas died in the fires on Kangaroo Island alone. The World Wide fund for Nature estimates that 1.25 billion animals have been killed in the fires.
“Koalas have gone from no-listing to vulnerable to endangered within a decade," one scientist said. "That is a shockingly fast decline."
The koala, nicknamed Daphne, is between 3 and 4 years old and "was desperate to get into the Christmas spirit," rescuers said.
“The contrast between the current bushfire crisis and this sudden flooding is striking," said the director of the Australian Reptile Park.
Harrowing scenes showing fleeing kangaroos, burnt koalas and dead birds have appeared on social media.
The animals face burning, starvation and scant water resources.
The large male adult koala was totally calm when a rescue organization found and unhooked him.
"Thanks very much everyone, but we are f**king done here."
Cape Otway's koala population has exploded in recent years, but unfortunately the rapid growth has left eucalyptus trees bare and made it tough for the animals to find food. Their habitat now appears to be recovering and conservationists are still considering the koala-saving program a success.
A program designed to save a koala population appears to be working.