Cinder the Bear in hibernation, awaiting Spring-time release - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Cinder the Bear in hibernation, awaiting Spring-time release

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GARDEN CITY, Idaho- Suffering from third degree burns on her paws, Cinder the Bear was found crawling on her elbows in an attempt to find safer ground in Methow Valley as wildfires consumed the land around her. Since then, Cinder's road to recovery has taken her to the Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care Facility in California where she was nursed back to health. Once her burns healed, Cinder was transported to the Idaho Black Bear Rehabilitation Center in Garden City, Idaho to hibernate for the winter.

Valerie Leboeuf, the Director of Education and Outreach at IBBR says when Cinder first arrived at the facility, "she wasn't that interested in the other bears but now they're sharing the same enclosure. She accepts them and they accept her."

Cinder lost a few claws, but her pads have healed and they continue to toughen up.  Cinder gained 60 pounds while recovering at the Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care Facility and has gained another 30 pounds since she's been at IBBR.

The Idaho Black Bear Rehabilitation Facility relies on donations to keep their doors open. It costs $375 a month to take care of one bear and once that bear is healthy enough to be released, it costs about $700 to facilitate their release. Annual costs for the entire program runs from $60,000 to $90,000 a year.

Leboeuf says Cinder's story shows what can happen, if you spot a wounded animal, and take action. "It all started with one caring citizen reporting this injured bear, and because of that action, the bear is going to be returned to the wild. We think this helps to foster a position with everyone that they have a stake in the environment and the wildlife population."

IBBR plans to release Cinder back into the wild in May or June of this year.  She'll be released in north-central Washington.

To follow Cinder's progress and learn more about the Idaho Black Bear Rehabilitation Facility, check out these links:

http://www.bearrehab.org/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Idaho-Black-Bear-Rehab-IBBR/130968260303298

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