Bear Cub Rescued from Colorado 416 Fire, Wildlife Officials Treating Burned Paws

Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials are treating a female bear cub who was rescued from the 416 Fire with burned paws, The Denver Post reported on Friday.

Firefighters found the bear on its own in a burned area on June 22. The bear is undergoing treatment at a facility in Frisco Creek, and the manager there, Michael Sirochman, told the publication in a statement that he "wasn't sure if it was going to make it" at first.

That's a sentiment that the Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) manager in Durango, Matt Thorpe, echoed in his statement to the Post.

"It probably hadn't eaten in a couple days, but it had survived on its own, so we wanted to give it a chance," he explained. Officials were giving her liquid milk at the facility.

"She's been burned on all four of her feet, particularly her toes quite badly," Sirochman said in a video, which shows wildlife officials treating the bear, released by the CBS affiliate in Denver on Friday.

After being tranquilized and taken to the facility, the bear has been under anesthesia and has had little contact with humans. Officials have wrapped her paws in layers of gauze and medical bandages. They hope that in a month or so, the burns will have healed enough that she can walk around normally.

"She's responding well to treatment and by winter we believe we'll be able to return her to the wild," Sirochman added in his statement to the Post. "We have good luck returning young bears to the wild."

Good #wildlife news from the #416Fire near Durango. @CPW_SW officers rescued a bear cub with burned feet. We're now treating it at our Frisco Creek facility and it will go back to the wild next winter. #Conservation

— Colorado Parks and Wildlife (@COParksWildlife) June 29, 2018

They've put cotton between the bear cub's toes to cushion them so they don't get stuck together while the bandages are around her paws, a Colorado Parks and Wildlife official shared in a video posted by a CBS affiliate in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Friday.

The fires in Colorado don't necessarily mean bad news for animals in the area.

"Wild animals are very accustomed to their environment," Lauren Truitt from Colorado Parks and Wildlife told CBS in Denver. "So, when a fire occurs, they are usually long gone before that fire ever gets to where they call home."

In fact, CPW explained that "following forest fires, fish and other aquatic life that live in mountain streams" are the ones most likely to be in danger "due to the possibility of ash flows from burned hillsides" in information from a news release posted by the Post.