Firefighters Help Save Bear Cub From Idaho Wildfire

An injured black bear cub alone in the Mustang Complex wildfire might be out of the woods after a coordinated rescue effort by state and federal employees as well as firefighters.

The 25-pound bear was seen in a Douglas fir tree near the Corn Creek Boat Ramp site on the Salmon River, which is about 30 miles east of North Fork. The tree was near the border of the wildfire.

The cub, which officials said is no more than 4 months old, appeared weak and the mother was unseen. Emily Atlas of the U.S. Forest Service and Justin Williams of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game retrieved the cub Sunday by looping a long game-handling tool around its neck.

The cub had second-degree burns on its paws and hadn't eaten in four or five days, said Karen Dunlap, spokeswoman at the Salmon-Challis National Forest Ranger Station.

""He was crabby,"" Dunlap said. ""He was not happy being in that cage.""

Boo Boo, as Atlas named him, was taken to the state veterinarian office at the Garden Valley Ranger Station.

The Idaho Statesman reported that a veterinarian with Fish and Game examined the bear cub Tuesday and said it will need medicine and its bandages changed each day for up to six weeks.

The Statesman reported that Fish and Game officials are looking for a veterinary hospital where the cub can get the treatment he needs.

""This could still have a sad ending, but at this point we're really hopeful,"" Dunlap said.

Dunlap said a second, smaller black bear cub was recovered in the Idaho Falls area and also transported to the vet. No other information was available on the second cub.

The Idaho Statesman contributed to this article.

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