WASHINGTON - Since the end of July, PAWS has taken care of victims we don’t often think about during wildfires: area wildlife.
The organization has taken in several bear cubs who have been severely burned from the Cedar Creek and Twenty-Five Mile wildfires in Eastern Washington.
One of the first bears rescued by PAWS was a 7-month-old cub with second-degree burns on her face and feet.
"What we’re seeing is extremely unusual," said PAWS Senior Director of Wildlife Jennifer Convy. "The number of severely burned bears coming to PAWS is not something I’ve seen in my 25 years at PAWS. Historically, burns have not been a common injury we’ve seen but we expect this may become more common and we’re prepared at PAWS to admit black bears and other wild species injured by wildfire."
Rescuers believe the cub was unable to keep up with her mother while trying to flee the fire, or climbed up a tree and became trapped by the flames.
PAWS has seen at least three orphaned bears due to fires since July 27.
The bear brought in back in July is doing well and on her road to recovery.
"She's an absolute trooper," said Dr. Nicki Rosenhagen, a PAWS wildlife veterinarian. "Her resilience is inspiring, and in spite of all of the trauma and stress she has endured, she’s acting as much like a normal bear cub as she can—eating, sleeping and even starting to play."
You can learn more about PAWS wildfire bears here.
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