Bear trapped in East Canyon Fire rescued by wildlife officers

Courtesy of CPW
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SAN LUIS VALLEY, Colo. (KJCT)- A bear that was trapped in the East Canyon Fire near Durango is now recovering at a rehab facility in the San Luis Valley.

The bear's feet were badly burned but is expected to make a full recovery according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

“We always hate to see injured animals, but we’re pleased we were able to rescue this bear so we can nurse it back to health and return it to the wild,” said Matt Thorpe, area wildlife manager in Durango.

The injured bear was first noticed by personnel fighting the fire on the ground and they then alerted CPW's office in Durango. The firefighters saw the bear walking across a meadow into some reeds near a pond on the east side of the fire.

The responding wildlife officers say that when they arrived and approached the bear, it did not move.

“You could tell it was really hurting,” Officer Steve McClung said.“Across the road from where we found it the area was burned heavily. There were little spot fires and some stumps burning. We can’t say exactly what happened, but it probably got caught and had to move across some hot spots.”

When the bear was next to the reeds, the officers administered a tranquilizer dart to sedate the bear. They quickly noticed the injuries to the paws of the bear and were able to place the bear into a trap and transport it to the Frisco Creek wildlife rehabilitation facility for treatment.

The bear is now at a facility in Del Norte recovering.

The bear was born in the winter of 2019 and was living on its own according to CPW.

The Veterinary Manager at Frisco Creek said the animal's feet will not be permanently injured. Once the bear is fully recovered, it will most likely be released near the spot it was found, as is protocol with these sorts of events.

Courtesy of CPW

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