Bear cub burned in wildfire gets treatment

Cub had several burns on her feet

(Photo: Colorado Parks and Wildlife)
(Photo: Colorado Parks and Wildlife)

DURANGO, Co. – An orphaned female bear cub is getting treatment after being burned in a wildfire.

The cub was injured in the 416 fire near Durango.

KCNC-TV reports the bear was noticed by firefighters wandering alone through a burned area during the week of June 18. After a few days of monitoring, firefighters didn't see a mother bear, so they called Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Officials responded June 22 and, found the cub in a tree and immobilized it with a tranquilizer dart.

"We weren't optimistic at first," Matt Thorpe, area wildlife manager in Durango, said. "It probably hadn't eaten in a couple of days, but it had survived on its own, so we wanted to give it a chance."

The bear was taken to the parks and wildlife facility near Del Norte. A medicinal salve dressing was applied to the bear's feet and its paws were then wrapped in multiple layers of gauze and medical bandages. After each treatment, the cub is injected with antibiotics to prevent infection and given pain medication.

Officials say the cub is responding well to treatment and hope she can be returned to the wild by winter.