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Badly burned orphaned bear cub escapes Washington wildfire

Badly burned orphaned bear cub escapes largest wildfire in Washington state history
Badly burned orphaned bear cub escapes largest wildfire in Washington state historyKOMO 4 News / Facebook

The Carlton Complex fire continues to devastate the residents of north-central Washington State, human and nonhuman animal alike. On Monday, Aug. 4, KOMO 4 News reported that an orphaned bear cub has been rescued from the Carlton Complex wildfire near Wenatchee, Washington and is now being treated for her injuries. According to the State Department of Fish and Wildlife, the bear cub, dubbed "Cinder," was found hiding on a homeowner's property with badly burned paws. There was no sign of Cinder's mother, who likely perished in the blaze.

After seeing the bear cub, the homeowner alerted the authorities and a Fish and Wildlife officer responded to the call. He found the little black bear cub hiding beneath a horse trailer. Cinder's paws were severely burned from walking across the burnt landscape of coals and hot ash. Cinder tried to alleviate the pain in her feet by crawling on her elbows by the time that she arrived at the home.

The little bear tried to escape when the officer used his catch pole, but was unable to elude him because she could only move on the heels of her paws. After she was captured, Cinder was placed in a bear trap and transported to Wenatchee.

Cougar and bear biologist Rich Beausoleil flushed and dressed the wounds on Cinder's feet. According to an official, the little bear was happy to eat a concoction of yogurt and dog food. Cinder will be evaluated by PAWS animal welfare organization to see if she can be rehabilitated.

KOMO reported on their Facebook page today that six-month-old Cinder has third degree burns from the Carlton Complex Fire. Thanks to volunteers who have worked to save her, she's beginning the long road to recovery.

The Carlton Complex fire, which burned the Methow Valley in north-central Washington, is the largest wildfire in the state's history. It has burned more than 250,000 acres and destroyed 300 homes. One person died fighting the flames and countless animals - including pets, livestock, and wildlife, like Cinder's mother - perished in the fire. As of Aug. 4, the Carlton Complex fire is still burning and is currently 82% contained.

PAWS Wildlife Center, which will be caring for and evaluating Cinder, is the only wildlife rehabilitation center in Washington State that is equipped with immediate and continuous in-house veterinary expertise and services. The wildlife center opened in 1981 and has cared for more than 100,000 wild animals. Their primary goal is rehabilitating sick, orphaned, and injured wildlife to help restore them to full health and, if possible, return the to the wild.

Bear cubs typically remain with their mothers for two years, benefiting from her protection and knowledge. Mother black bears, who typically give birth to two or three blind cubs during the mid-winter, are known to be extremely protective of their babies.