A young bear rescued after suffering burns in the East Canyon Fire last month has shown strong signs of recovery and is expected to be released in the coming weeks, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife posted to social media that the Frisco Creek Rehabilitation Facility in Del Norte is reporting the bear is “doing very well and has even gained some weight.”
“The bear is almost ready to have its bandages taken off and should be released in the coming weeks,” the agency posted.
Joe Lewandowski, spokesman for CPW, said there were no additional updates about the injured bear as of Monday.
Wildlife officials on June 16 were alerted of a young bear with injuries walking around the perimeter of the fire, which was then actively burning west of Durango on the La Plata-Montezuma county line.
CPW crews mobilized, grabbing a tranquilizer gun and traps and headed to the scene. Wildlife officers searched for the bear around a pond and located it. The bear was shot with a tranquilizer and was immobilized about five minutes later.
Upon examination, the bear was determined to be male, less than 50 pounds and about a year old. With severe burns on its feet, the bear was taken to the rehab facility in Del Norte.
By the next day, the bear was walking, albeit in pain.
“We’re cautiously optimistic, but we think we’ll be able to treat it,” Matt Thorpe, wildlife manager for CPW, said at the time.
Typically, CPW releases recovered wildlife near the area it was rescued. It’s unclear where the agency intends to release the bear burned in the East Canyon Fire, which has since been 100% contained after burning about 2,900 acres.