An injured black bear cub, rescued from the Mustang Fire burning north of Salmon, is expected to make a full recovery.

“He’s healing nicely,” said Dr. Jeff Rosenthal, director of the Idaho Humane Society. “His pads and toes are no longer bleeding, and new skin is already forming on the burned portions.”

That’s good news for the young bear that suffered second degree burns on all four feet, burns so severe that his survival was questionable.

“He’s young so he has great healing potential,” Rosenthal said. “If his recovery continues at this pace, he could be ready to leave the Humane Society’s care in as little as two weeks.”

While changing the sedated bear’s foot dressings with fellow veterinarian Cheryl Garrett, Rosenthal talked about his cooperative patient.

He pulled one of his bandages off last night, but that’s the only one he’s bothered since coming to our facility,” Rosenthal said. “Nobody likes going to the hospital, certainly not wild animals, but he’s been a great patient.”
The bear weighed just 23 pounds when first examined last week, but appears to be making up for it.

“Eating like a little pig, very feisty, and not very social,” Rosenthal said. “He charges the cage front whenever anyone gets near, trying to scare us off.”

The young bear has become somewhat of a celebrity since his discovery and rescue by U.S. Forest Service and Fish and Game staff members nearly two weeks ago. The Humane Society has received more than $1,000 in donations for the bear’s care in just the last few days.

“The donations are very much appreciated, but what we really need now are berries of any kind, be they strawberries, blackberries, blueberries or whatever,” Rosenthal said. “But no more apples, please. We have enough donated apples to bake him an apple pie every day this month.”

Logo courtesy Idaho Fish and Game

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