Hero Dog

Hero+Dog

Thomas S, Columnist

Most people think of heroes as people in capes with laser eyes and other super-human abilities, but sometimes heroes can come in a surprising form. For instance, an Australian “Hero Dog” saved over one hundred injured koalas in a bushfire last year. Recently, on November 2nd, 2021, the rescue dog was awarded a gold medal for his heroic work.

One day in 2020, catastrophic bushfires sprang out in Australia; this event became known as Black Summer. That day over one hundred koalas were saved by a dog named Bear. In early November, Bear was awarded a gold medal by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) during a ceremony at the U.K. House of Lords. During the ceremony, Bear sat next to his handler, Dr. Romane Cristescu of the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC), via video link.

“We think Bear really deserved this award. 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,” Cristescu said, according to 9 o’clock news.

Dr. Cristescu and the USC Detection Dogs for Conservation team adopt and raise dogs to save the koalas of Australian bushfires.

Dr. Cristescu said the characteristics that make Bear a more challenging pet are the skills that make him exceptional at finding stranded koalas. She stated, “When we look for a new dog, we put the word out to all the rescue groups because often what we look for in a dog makes them difficult pets. So that high energy, obsession with playing.”

The Black Summer bushfires in Australia were the worst ever recorded, and Bear made a big impact in saving wildlife in the area, more specifically koalas. According to the Australian Disaster Resilience Knowledge Hub, run by the Australian Government, in just a few months, 26 lives were lost, 2,338 homes were destroyed and 5.5 million acres of land were burnt.

In conclusion, heroes don’t always come in costumes and capes. Some of them are doctors, teachers, parents, or even dogs. The best heroes are those many people don’t expect. People in capes just save a bunch of super villains in a fictional world. Real heroes save real world people and save real world lives.

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