Three bear cubs, a bobcat and a pig rescued from Northern California fires in 2021 went safely house or will quickly be launched.
In October, the Redding Record Searchlight printed tales about animals who had been victims of the state’s raging wildfires, together with the 1,500-square-mile Dixie Fire.
They and different animals had been rescued by wildlife specialists and caring neighbors. Injured wildlife obtained medical consideration, then bunked at animal refuges the place volunteers fed them and helped them preserve their specialised expertise and wild methods.
As 2021 wrapped up, we circled again with individuals who look after 5 of the animals we featured to see how they had been doing.
Three little bears nonetheless want care
Three orphaned bear cubs are slowing down a bit and consuming extra because the climate turns chilly, stated Sallysue Stein, director and volunteer at Gold Country Wildlife Rescue in Auburn. They most likely received’t hibernate till subsequent yr, after they’re launched right into a mountain wilderness the place temperatures drop properly under freezing.
The three bears arrived weighing 16-25 kilos.
- Leo, additionally known as Smokey Junior, was rescued with burned paws from the Antelope Fire in Siskiyou County on Aug. 11.
- TR was rescued from the Dixie Fire close to Taylorsville in Plumas County on Aug. 16.
- Vinnie was additionally rescued from the Dixie Fire on Sept. 5.
“They’re 75 to 80 kilos every now,” Stein stated. “They’re typical kids. They wrestle and play.”
At 11 months old, the bears are too young to be released until spring, Stein said. They’ll spend winter in a special bear enclosure where they can climb, play and hide in make-shift dens.
Their diet consists of fresh fruits and vegetables, and zoo-formula Bear Chow. “Vinnie is a food hog,” Stein said. “Grapes are his favorite.”
Rescuers preserve contact with people to a minimal to preserve the bears wild, she stated.
Bobcat is again at house close to Mt. Shasta
Lava Bob wasn’t anticipated to dwell when he was rescued by Axel Hunnicutt, a biologist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Siskiyou County unit in Yreka.
The bobcat was unable to hunt after he suffered fourth diploma burns in the Lava Fire in July.
“He was so skinny. I was surprised I could get a dart in him,” Hunnicutt said.
But the cat made an excellent recovery, Stein said, healing quickly from his wounds and growing from a malnourished 15 pounds to 35 pounds — a good weight for a bobcat.
Then he grew to 45 pounds, mostly healthy muscle and ferocious cat-itude.
Capturing him for release was “quite the challenge,” Stein stated. “It took two of us to get him into the carrier using a catch pole.”
Lava Bob was released in October at the base of Mt. Shasta, 8 miles from where he was rescued. If we release animals close where they were found, they usually go home to their original territory, Stein said.
See video about Lava Bob’s journey from rescue to release at https://bit.ly/3zbrVmF.
Pumba the pig escapes Fawn Fire
In September, the Fawn Fire burned toward the Billing family’s farm near Mountain Gate.
With her husband away, Leighellen Billing had to work fast with help from her in-laws to evacuate her three young children, 12 chickens, seven goats, four ducks, two pigs, seven newborn kittens with their mother and three other cats.
The family’s older pet pig “Pumba” took benefit of the state of affairs and ran off, she stated.
Unable to catch the American Guinea hog, Billing had to evacuate with out Pumba — believing he would run away from the hearth.
When the Billing household returned house eight days later, they noticed he’d returned house, rooted up the yard and wallowed in the mud made by the sprinkler, however Pumba was gone.
After posting his picture on social media, Billing realized a neighbor discovered Pumba. He put the pig — who didn’t appear in any respect frightened or put out, Billing stated — in his goat pen and gave him treats.
“He was a very good 10-minute drive away,” she stated. Pumba had crossed the freeway, over Old Oregon Trail.
While the sting of their property burned, the Billing house was spared by the hearth — a blessing for which Billing credit her goats for munching and clearing defensible house.
Pumba returned to his pen and lived one other month earlier than he died of pure causes in October.
“He was a spoiled pig while we had him,” Billing stated.
More:‘We’ve realized how resilient nature is’: Animals recovering from fires get somewhat assist
How the three bears and donors returned the favor
Publicity over the rescue and medical care of the three bear cubs helped Gold Country Wildlife Rescue increase $250,000 for a brand new habitat designed for future rescued bears.
Ground broke in November on a 15-acre property in Auburn — the longer term web site of “Bear Cub University,” Stein stated.
The new habitat will assist preserve rescued bears wild, making certain they do not develop into accustomed to people whereas they develop up or recuperate from accidents.
“There will be denning and climbing opportunities, so they can practice all the skills they’ll need in the wild,” Stein stated.
Construction will begin on the metal enclosure when the climate improves, a “bear-proof” design created by the CDFW.
More:The story of three bears: Cubs burned in California wildfires recovering collectively
Gold Country’s Bear Cub University is considered one of 4 bear rescue websites in California. Others are in Tahoe, Ramona/San Diego and Sonoma County.
For the bear info go to goldcountrywildliferescue.org or https://bit.ly/3ez5JK4 on Facebook.
Jessica Skropanic is a options reporter for the Record Searchlight/USA Today Network. She covers science, arts, social points and leisure tales. Follow her on Twitter @RS_JSkropanic and on Facebook. Join Jessica in the Get Out! Nor Cal recreation Facebook group. To help and maintain this work, please subscribe right this moment. Thank you.