September 18, 2012 in City

Burned bear cub ‘doing fine’

Jessie L. Bonner Associated Press
Associated Press photo

This undated photo provided by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game shows a black bear cub that had been burned in a fire near Salmon, Idaho, in August.
(Full-size photo)

Camper mauled

HELENA – A man mauled by a 185-pound black bear in the Bob Marshall Wilderness told authorities that the bruin jumped on his tent, tore through the fabric and attacked him until he stopped the animal with pepper spray, wildlife officials said Monday.

Fish, Wildlife and Parks investigators called the attack predatory in nature – an unusual occurrence that prompted them to shoot and kill the bear Friday afternoon.

“There was no question of whether that was the right decision. It was obviously a very dangerous animal,” Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesman John Fraley said.

A necropsy found items in the bear’s stomach consistent with food at the camp including plastic bags, dried pasta and other food items. Fraley said investigators did not know how the bear got the food.

The unidentified man was recovering from scratches and other wounds at Kalispell Regional Medical Center.

U.S. Forest Service spokesman Wade Muehlhof said an agency employee was hiking in the remote Black Bear Creek area when he came upon the bear at the victim’s campsite. Muehlhof said the employee chased away the bear, then found the victim nearby.

BOISE – A black bear cub rescued from a fire in the Idaho backcountry after suffering second-degree burns on all four of its paws has been moved to a wildlife sanctuary outside the mountain resort town of McCall and is expected to make a full recovery, officials said Monday.

The bear nicknamed “Boo Boo” is being housed in a 2-acre enclosure with another cub and is doing very well, said Linda DeEulis, director of the Snowdon Wildlife Sanctuary. The bear was brought to the sanctuary Friday.

He first spent two weeks recuperating at the Idaho Humane Society shelter in Boise after he was discovered in late August, clinging to a tree. DeEulis was worried at first about the bear’s ability to climb, but those concerns were quickly put to rest after he arrived at the sanctuary.

“He’s doing fine; the first thing he did was run up a tree,” she said.

DeEulis and an Idaho Department of Fish and Game official predicted that it might be next spring before the bear puts on enough weight to go out on his own.

The cub weighed about 25 pounds and likely hadn’t eaten for several days when he was found. The bear has since gained about 20 pounds and the burned paws appear to be healing nicely, said Evin Oneale, with the state Department of Fish and Game.

While veterinarians at the Idaho Humane Society rechristened the bear “Bernard,” state wildlife officials still refer to him as Boo Boo.

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