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Meet 'Taylor': A nose for sniffing out koalas

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on January 16, 2020 - Duration: 01:34s

Meet 'Taylor': A nose for sniffing out koalas

Conservation detection dogs are being trained to search for injured koalas caught in the middle of Australia's bushfires.

It's hoped that training more dogs like Taylor could help with moving wildlife to safer ground.

Libby Hogan reports.

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Meet 'Taylor': A nose for sniffing out koalas

Koalas have been some of the worst hit victims of Australia's bushfires.

But one four pawed friend is doing her bit to find koalas at risk and save them from the flames.

Meet Taylor.

Ryan Tate is Taylor's trainer: (SOUNDBITE) (English) PROFESSIONAL DOG TRAINER RYAN TATE, SAYING: "Taylor and I have been finding Koalas together for three years now, all up and down the east coast of Australia.

She's trained to sniff out their fur and their scats.".

This four-year-old Springer Spaniel is trained to locate koalas in burnt bushland and so far she has located eight koalas over the past few months.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) PROFESSIONAL DOG TRAINER, RYAN TATE, SAYING: "To date, on the fire grounds, Taylor's been responsible for locating eight animals.

Some of them have gone into the Koala hospitals here in Port Macquarie for treatment and ongoing care, others have been deemed to be safe, fit and in good areas." Just last week along Australia's east coast vets were worked overtime treating koalas with singed fur, burns to the nose and paws.

At Kangaroo Island, thousands of koalas died in the flames.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) PROFESSIONAL VETERINARY OFFICER: "We estimate around 30,000 have been killed and when you look at the number here, we have about 60 brought in here, that's not very many." It's hoped with the training of more dogs like Taylor, koalas caught in the country's raging infernos can be pulled to safety.

So far the World Wide fund for Nature estimates that 1.25 billion animals have been killed in the fires.

And in the state of New South Wales alone one third of all koalas have died, as their habitat has been wiped out.

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