A bear cub found badly burned last summer in the largest wildfire in Washington state history has endured a long recovery but is now back in the wild.
Rich Beausoleil with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife says officials released the 2½-year-old cub nicknamed Cinder on Wednesday morning in a central Washington forest. He says the bear was in good shape and "running like a champ" near Wenatchee.
Cinder was found under a horse trailer after the Carlton Complex fire, her paws so scorched that she was pulling herself along by her elbows.
Now healed after stints at a California wildlife center and the Idaho Black Bear Rehabilitation center near Boise, she weighs about 125 pounds.
Cinder was released with an orphaned cub she had bonded with during rehab.
The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife released this statement on their Facebook page about Cinder's release:
Update from the field:
Cinder, a bear who was severely burned in Washington's largest wildfire last year, the Carlton Complex Fire, was released this morning after months of rehabilitation.
Everything went very well for her and another bear released with her. The bears experienced a “hard release,” meaning the bears were scared with pyrotechnics and bear dogs to ensure they retain a healthy aversion to people. We wish her luck out in the wild.
Communities and individuals all around North Central Washington--and the nation--lent their support to Cinder over recent months – truly symbolic of how communities value nature and pull together.
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