Bear is an adorable collie/koolie mix with striking blue eyes. His job? Leading rescuers to live koalas, and he’s had quiet a busy past few weeks.

Bear works with the Detection Dogs for Conservation, and has been specially-trained to sniff out displaced, sick, orphaned and injured koalas in the wild. With the bushfires currently raging across of Australia’s east coast, koalas are at serious risk. Experts predict that hundreds of koalas have already died in the fires and many more are losing their habitats.

Koalas are particularly vulnerable to bushfires as they are slow moving and live in eucalyptus trees that burn quickly and intensely. Camouflaged high in the tree tops, koalas are also difficult for the human eye to spot. This is where Bear’s skills come in. Bear is helping those that are still alive by pointing the out to rescuers.

While this seems like an adorable job for a dog, it’s one that is very rare to keep. Koala detection dogs need to be disinterested in people, hyper-focused and without a prey drive. Years ago, Bear, now 6, was brought to Detection Dogs for Conservation by his former owners, who could no longer care for him.

“He was brought in for assessment at about one year old. Within minutes the team knew he was ‘The One’ they had been looking for to train on live koalas. He is high-energy, obsessive, doesn’t like to be touched and is completely uninterested in people, which sadly means he doesn’t make the ideal family pet. But these qualities do make him a perfect candidate for a detection dog which is exactly why he was chosen,” IFAW, which funds Bear’s training and upkeep, shared in a statement obtained by PEOPLE.

More from Beliefnet and our partners
previous posts

A family is boasting with joy over the recent birth of their baby boy and the story of how it all came about is being deemed a “miracle.” The woman was born without a uterus and underwent a 10- hour transplant procedure in 2018 with the hopes of being able to carry her own children. […]

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and his wife are teaming up with local organizations to provide 10,000 meals a day to those in need. The quarterback took to Instagram to reveal his plan stating, “Brittany and I are committing $5,000,000 to the State of Louisiana in 2020. The priority now is helping our communities […]

Self-isolation can get old pretty fast, and you’re not alone in feeling the wrath of social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.  While you may be finding it harder each day to find ways to keep yourself occupied, a “happiness” course developed by a Yale Professor just might do the trick to restore your sanity. The […]

Women have made extraordinary contributions to the world, and a lot of the liberties and pleasures we couldn’t imagine life without would not have been possible without them. History has shown us that women’s achievements are often overlooked, which is why it is important that we continue to honor their legacies. Take a look at […]