Meet one of the dogs saving koalas from Australian wildfires

Posted at 11:17 AM, Jan 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-09 12:17:56-05

As Australian wildfires endanger the lives of thousands of koalas, one dog is stepping up to save her fellow furry friends.

Taylor, a four-year-old English Springer Spaniel, is trained to sniff out koala fur and droppings, said her owner and professional dog trainer Ryan Tate.

To date, Taylor has rescued eight of the country's iconic marsupials from wildfires, which have destroyed more than 2,000 homes, claimed at least 26 human lives and potentially killed thousands of koalas.

Some of these animals were hospitalized, and others were taken to areas deemed safe, Tate said.

Tate and his skillful pup have been traveling along the east coast of Australia for nearly three years. Over her lifetime, Taylor has found more than 50 koalas.

Tate said when the air is still, koalas' scents descend from treetops to the ground, so when Taylor smells an animal, she will sit below a tree and point up.

In more difficult conditions, like the recent fires, she's also trained to find their droppings, and fresh poo is a good indicator that koalas are nearby.