Story at a glance:

  • A drone pilot finds animals that are lost or stranded after natural disasters.
  • The pilot is featured in a documentary about his dedication.
  • He and his girlfriend adopted a dog after they found it lost in the mountains.

A drone pilot is using his device for good — finding animals in need using an infrared scope.

Douglas Thron is a cinematographer with a heart of gold, scoping out lost animals using an infrared scope drone to survey the area in California’s Tujunga Canyon, Reuters reported.


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Thron's first mission was rescuing cats after a wildfire, but he has been helping animals in the Bahamas and Puerto Rico, Australia, Oregon and Louisiana for the past two years.

During Australia’s bushfires in early 2020, Thron got hired by the World Wildlife Fund, an international nongovernmental organization, to find animals in distress.

“I was able to get little spiny-looking, porcupine-like animals like echidnas, to tiny pygmy possums in a tree that were the size of a mouse,” Thron said.

Gaining a reputation, Thron created a miniature, six-part documentary about his exploits, adequately called "Doug to the Rescue."

In the sixth episode, Thron found an abandoned dog around the San Bernardino mountainside. With no owner, he and his girlfriend it a new home and the name Ghost.

“With the natural disasters getting bigger and bigger, my ultimate goal is to have an animal rescue ranch where people can adopt these animals because with the bulk of the animals, the owners are never found or they’re abandoned,” Thron told Reuters.


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Published on Jun 16, 2021