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Nyla was a shirshu who served as the mount and constant companion of the bounty hunter June. June acquired Nyla from her father when he received him as payment for a bounty he had collected while working for a rare animal collector. Nyla and June had been together for over seventeen years.[2]


In one of June's missions, Nyla tracked a bounty stowed away on Zuko's ship. He bit into the metal deck, tearing a large piece out to reveal the stowaway. Zuko hired June to track down the Avatar using the shirshu. When Zuko tracked and attacked Aang, Nyla fought Appa and paralyzed him with his tongue, although it took several hits to bring the flying bison down. Katara defeated Nyla by confusing him with perfume which she bent out of pots in the abbey. Nyla "blindly" lashed out and paralyzed Zuko and June successively before running wildly away.[1]

Months later, when Aang went missing, Zuko and Team Avatar traveled to the Earth Kingdom, where they found June in a tavern.[3] Outside, Nyla and Appa seemed to have befriended each other. Katara handed Aang's staff to June so the shirshu could sniff it. He turned in circles before covering his nose, unable to find Aang. Zuko decided to track down Iroh instead, and he handed June his uncle's sandal. Nyla sniffed it and led them to the walls of Ba Sing Se, where he and June departed from them.[4]

After the Hundred Year War, June and Nyla were hired again by Zuko, now Fire Lord, to track down Ursa, his long-lost mother. However, the search turned up no results.[5]


Like other shirshus, Nyla's tongue contained toxins that could temporarily paralyze humans, though the effect was less potent on large animals such as Appa.[1]

Scent tracking[]

Nyla was able to track scents that were hundreds of miles away. According to June, he could smell a rat a continent away. However, like other shirshus, both of his highly sensitive nose and sense of smell were part of his weakness as well, as shown when Katara managed to overwhelm and confuse Nyla by bending perfume from the pots, stirring in him a frenzied panic.[1] His tracking ability can be limited, as he was unable to pick up a specific target's scent. June explained that Nyla's target did not "exist" when he attempted to track down Aang's scent[4] and later Ursa's scent.[5]


Avatar: The Last Airbender[]

Book One: Water (水)[]

Book Three: Fire (火)[]

Graphic novels[]


June Super Deformed Short

A chibi version of Nyla was seen in School Time Shipping.

  • Nyla was named after a pet Rottweiler owned by Lisa Yang, a writer for the series.[6][7][8][9]
  • Nyla appeared briefly in the animated short "School Time Shipping" along with a few other familiar creatures.
  • Nyla has the same characteristics as Wildmutt from the series Ben 10, as both creatures rely on their sense of smell to navigate and are powerful enough to rip through metal to find their target. Additionally, they were both voiced by Dee Bradley Baker.
  • In Netflix's live action Avatar: The Last Airbender, Nyla is depicted as a female shirshu.[10]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Wilcox, Ian (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (October 7, 2005). "Bato of the Water Tribe". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 15. Nickelodeon.
  2. From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com. Encyclopedia now broken, archived at The Lost Lore of Avatar Aang - Creature: Shirshu.
  3. DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer) & Spaulding, Ethan (director). (July 19, 2008). "Sozin's Comet, Part 1: The Phoenix King". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 18. Nickelodeon.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Ehasz, Aaron (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (July 19, 2008). "Sozin's Comet, Part 2: The Old Masters". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 19. Nickelodeon.
  5. 5.0 5.1 DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene Luen (writer), Sasaki of Gurihiru (penciling, inking), Kawano of Gurihiru (colorist), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (letterer). The Promise Part Three (September 26, 2012), Dark Horse Comics.
  6. Avatar: The Last Airbender—The Art of the Animated Series, page 67.
  7. Avatar Extras for "Sozin's Comet, Part 2: The Old Masters" on Nicktoons Network.
  8. Basco, Dante (host), Varney, Janet (host), DiMartino, Michael Dante (guest), Konietzko, Bryan (guest). (June 29, 2021). "Origin Stories with Mike DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko Pt. 2". Avatar: Braving the Elements. Episode 3. iHeartRadio.
  9. DiMartino, Michael Dante & Konietzko, Bryan (July 29, 2008). "Sozin's Comet, Part 2: The Old Masters" commentary. Book 3: Fire, Volume 4 DVD.
  10. Kim, Emily, Ries, Hunter, Konietzko, Bryan, Mohamed, Ubah, DiMartino, Michael Dante (writers) & Liang, Roseanne (director). (2024). "Masks". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season One. Episode 6. Netflix.

See also[]