Story at a glance

  • The young cub was found in the backyard of a home with burns on his paws.
  • Staff from the Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care center took the cub in and bandaged and cleaned his wounds.
  • Veterinarians plan on applying tilapia skin grafts on Tamarack’s paws once his wounds are in the proper phase of healing.

A bear cub that was burned in a wildfire moving through northeast California is now being treated in a wildlife center at Lake Tahoe. 

The 6-month-old bear cub was found by homeowners in Markleville, Calif., who returned home Sunday after being forced to evacuate due to a fire that has burned nearly 70,000 acres south of Lake Tahoe into Nevada. 

The young cub, nicknamed Tamarack after the blaze, was found lying in the residents’ backyard with burns on his paws. 

Residents notified the Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care center, and rescuers arrived to treat the cub. The animal was so badly burned on his paws he tried to get away from rescuers by walking on his elbows, according to The Los Angeles Times

Staff managed to corner the cub and sedate him to transport him to the rescue center. 


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Workers cleaned and bandaged his wounds and provided him pain medication. Veterinarians plan on applying tilapia skin grafts on Tamarack’s paws once his wounds are in the proper phase of healing.  

“The wounds are progressing as expected & we are optimistic about his recovery,” the Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care center said in an update on Facebook

“Tamarack has a long way to go. Already his care & medical expenses are a lot BUT he has the best of the best when it comes to Wildlife Heroes! With all your love and support this little fighter can keep on fighting!” 


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Published on Jul 28, 2021