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Bear cub rescued after suffering burns on paws in California wildfire

Posted at 12:45 PM, Jul 28, 2021

MARKLEEVILLE, Calif. — California wildlife workers rescued a bear cub that suffered burns in a wildfire near Lake Tahoe.

Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care Inc. said in series of Facebook posts that it got a call Sunday from a homeowner who spotted the cub in their yard in Markleeville.

The nonprofit organization says the cub caught a lucky break because the homeowner was first to return to their neighborhood amid the ongoing Tamarack Fire in the area.

The nonprofit says it then requested permission to go into the restricted area and mobilized a team to rescue the cub.

Once the team found the bear, they sedated it and brought it back to their facility, where it was determined to be a 21-pound male cub with burns all four of its paws.

The nonprofit gave the cub pain medication and fluids, treated its paws, and ended up naming the animal Tamarack after the wildfire.

The cub is said to be in stable condition and is resting until the organization determines the animal is ready to undergo a skin grafting procedure.

“The wounds are progressing as expected and we are optimistic about his recovery,” wrote the organization.

Officials believe the Tamarack Fire started from a lightning strike in the Mokelumne Wilderness on a rocky ridgetop before high winds caused the blaze to spread.

As of Wednesday, the wildfire stretched nearly 68,400 acres and was about 59% contained. Evacuations were in place and people in the community were encouraged to limit their travel in the area due to ongoing fire activity.

The wildfire is one of many burning in the West as the region prepares for a potentially destructive fire season. Many scientists believe the increased drought conditions and subsequent fires are a result of climate change.