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Severely Burned Bear Cub Hobbles Down Driveway, What Happens Next Will Restore Your Faith in Humanity

5 Aug 2014, 3:47 pm

Wildfires in the west are an unfortunate reality for many living on the western side of the of the Continental Divide. And a fire’s toll on wildlife often flies under the radar, but one bear cub is getting national attention for surviving an encounter with a fire in Washington State. Cinder, a nearly 40-pound black bear cub, was rescued after a man walking his dog on Friday stumbled upon the gravely burned animal.

KOMO-TV reports Steve Love, a Methow Valley resident, saw the seriously injured cub stumbling up his driveway. But when he approached, the cub became defensive so he backed away.

Love said he was able to feed the bear some fruit from a tree on his property and gave her some water, but the intense pain from the burns caused her to cry and whimper. What Love did next, helped calm the bear, “I got about six feet away, sat down and talked to it in a soothing way, telling it things would be okay. It seemed to make it feel better. It stopped making the noises.”

From there, Cinder was taken by state wildlife officials and remained in their care through the weekend. It’s reported that the bear had second and third degrees burns on her stomach and paws.

Realizing that the 10-month-old cub would need specialized care, officials contacted Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care and the center agreed to take Cinder. Originally scheduled to be transported as cargo, a pilot with “Pilots for Paws” volunteered to fly the bear from Washington to South Lake Tahoe — lessening the stress on the animal and shortening her time in transit.

Tom Milham, co-founder of Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care, says it will take Cinder many weeks or even months to recover from her injuries.

The Carlton Complex Fire

Flickr_Washington National Gaurd_7-21
Photo Credit: Flickr/The National Guard
(This photo, taken July, 21 2014, shows the massive Carlton Complex Fire burning a week after it started.)

The fire that so severely burned Cinder — the Carlton Complex Fire, which started on July 14 — is now about 90% contained, thanks mostly to the efforts of more than 1,600 firefighters on the ground, fighting the blaze.

That said, the fire —which is believed to have been started by lightning — is blamed for the destruction of 322 residences and scorching more than 256,108 acres or about 440 square miles — that’s slightly smaller than the City of Los Angeles.

Meteorologist Alan Raymond

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