Starving bear cub may have lost mother to California wildfire

QUINCY: Firefighters keep tabs on a lone, emaciated bear cub who may have lost its mother to the nation’s largest wildfire now burning in Northern California.
The pointy-eared cub solos along a mountain road burned by the Dixie Fire near Taylorsville, peering through undergrowth and jumping through plants coated with fire-retardant chemicals.
“If you see them with a sow or a mother boar, they usually stay with the mother boar and run away,” says firefighter Johnnie. Macy, which was deployed from Golden, Colorado, to fight the fire. “This bear didn’t, which is why we believe the bear was orphaned as a result of the fire.”
Macy said Sunday that they have been monitoring the cub for several days to determine if it is an orphan. A wildlife rescue team was waiting to rescue the emaciated cub from the burn area.
Macy called the situation “heartbreaking,” but said “Mother Nature is taking its course.”
The Dixie Fire has been burning for over a month and has destroyed more than 1,000 homes and businesses with nearly 15,000 buildings still under threat. Pacific Gas & Electric has said the fire may have started when a tree fell on its power line.
A bear named “Smokey” is, of course, the most famous orphaned cub in the country who was rescued from a forest fire.
The badly burned bear was rescued from a New Mexico wildfire in 1950 and became the living, breathing embodiment of a national campaign launched in 1944 when the american forest range and Advertising Board agreed that a fictional bear would be the symbol for a fire prevention campaign.
Earlier this month, a bear cub with burns to its paws and nose was rescued from a fire in eastern California’s Siskiyou County. Also this month, an injured cub tunneled out of an animal shelter in Lake Tahoe, where he was being treated for burns sustained in a wildfire. The bear has since been spotted in the wild.


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