MONTEZUMA COUNTY, Colo. (KRDO) -- A young bear is expected to get back on its feet after wildlife officers rescued it Tuesday from the East Canyon fire with badly burned paws.
A release Wednesday from Colorado Parks and Wildlife said the bear has been taken to CPW's rehabilitation facility in the San Luis Valley.
The bear's feet were badly burned, but wildlife officers expect the animal to make a full recovery.
“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, in a statement.
The male bear is less than a year old, meaning it should have been with its mother, said CPW. However, it was alone when firefighters spotted it. When wildlife officers arrived, they saw the bear was hurting and discovered its burned paws.
“Across the road from where we found it the area was burned heavily,” said Wildlife officer Steve McClung. “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.”
The veterinary manager at Frisco Creek, Michael Sirochman, told CPW that the prognosis is good. He put on bandages the bear's paws and expects it will be ready for release in about eight weeks.