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Bear Cub Injured In 416 Fire Visited By Iconic Smokey Bear

DURANGO, Colo. (CBS4) - The bear cub that was burned in the 416 Fire still burning in Durango got a special visit from an icon and advocate for fire safety.

smokey bear visits cub broll coptrunc_frame_380 416 fire
(credit: West Metro Fire)

Smokey Bear visited the wildlife rehabilitation center near Del Norte which is taking care of the injured animal.

Nearly three weeks ago, firefighters first noticed the young bear wandering alone through a burned area. After a couple of days, they didn't see a mother bear nearby, so they called Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

smokey bear visits cub broll coptrunc_frame_662 416 fire
(credit: West Metro Fire)

"We weren't optimistic at first," Matt Thorpe, area wildlife manager in Durango, said. "It probably hadn't eaten in a couple of days, but it had survived on its own so we wanted to give it a chance."

The female cub is being treated with a salve for her paws, an antibiotic to fight infection and pain medication.

smokey bear visits cub broll coptrunc_frame_836 416 fire
(credit: West Metro Fire)

Officials say it will be a while until the bear will be well enough to be released into the wild.

Right now, the plan is to release the cub with other orphaned cubs from the same center.

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