Severely burned and close to death, Cinder the black bear was found last year, in the wake of the largest forest fire ever to devastate Washington state. A year later, however, specialist workers in California have managed to nurse it back to health.
In July 2014, three different forest fires were ignited by lightening strikes and converged in the Carlton Complex area of Washington, where they turned more than 250,000 acres of forest into ash. The fire burned for more than a week and it took more than 3,000 fire fighters to bring it under control.
Against all odds, Cinder had somehow managed to survive the blaze. However, the 18-month-old cub was badly injured, underweight and in so much pain that she couldn’t stand up. She had suffered third degree burns to all four of her paws, which meant that she had to crawl along on her elbows and, left on her own, the bear faced a slow, painful and inevitable death.
Fortunately, rescue workers found the cub and sedated her, before they could fly the bear more than 800 miles south to Lake Tahoe in neighboring California.
Then thanks to the efforts of the specialist staff at the Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care, Cinder made a full recovery and is now getting ready to be released back into the wild. (Scroll down for the video.)
1. Cinder was found crawling on her elbows after her feet were badly burned during the largest forest fire to ever hit Washington state last year.
2. If left on her own she would have suffered a slow an inevitable death, but was instead flown to Lake Tahoe to a rescue center where they went about nursing her back to health.
3. When Cinder arrived at the center she was under weight, badly burned and close to death. But now she is almost ready to be released back into the wild.
Tom Millham, LTWC’s secretary, said:
Fortunately, when Cinder came to us in August everything came together. Dr Kevin Willetts — our voluntary veterinarian — took over as he has over 30 years’ experience of dealing with our major medical emergencies.
Cinder was already a wild bear which meant we didn’t have to do too much rehabilitation. It was all about the medical care for her. From the day she came in we had her set up on an every other day treatment where we changed the dressings on her wounds.
For over six weeks we changed the dressings every other day and then we increased the time between them. From September 30 we stopped putting dressings on her feet to let them heal on their own.
Once her wounds had healed, Cinder was transferred to the Idaho Black Bear Center in Idaho, where the bear is now going through the last phase of her recovery process before returning to nature.
4. Staff at the center are specialists in treating bears less than one year old. Cinder was aged just nine months when she was brought in.
5. Cinder has now put on weight, regrown her scorched fur, and had almost all of the bandages removed from her feet, and is getting ready to be returned to the wild.
6. It is believed that Cinders’ mother died in the forest fire, so she has been placed with other bears at a rescue center to get her used to their company before she is released.
Mr. Millham explained:
Our normal procedure means we knock out the bear to make it easier for her to move them. She was out within a few minutes and then we put her on a stretcher to weigh her.
Her weight tripled in the time we looked after her from 39 lbs — which is really light for a second year cub. We weighed her the other day she was 97 lbs with a really fat stomach which is good for her.
We’re really pleased with the progress she has made. She was a perfect lady on the trip — she barely made a sound on the drive. Bears will normally sleep for that long, but she kept herself busy with a toy and she had her favorite grapes to feed on.
Once we got to Idaho it took her a matter of seconds to pop her head out and explore her new surrounds. We’re so happy with the way she’s healed.
Tom and his wife Cheryl set up LTWC in 1978 and have since helped heal more than 20,000 animals.
7. Staff at Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care dress Cinders’ wounds as they nurse her back to health.
8. After being treated in Tahoe, Cinders was moved to the Idaho Black Bear Center where she is currently waiting to be released back into the Washington wild.
And here is the video report:
Source: The Daily Mail.
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