DURANGO, Colo. (KDVR) –- A bear was returned to a thick Aspen forest on Monday by officers with Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW). He recovered from burns sustained in a June forest fire west of Durango.
“Now he’s got food, he’s got water, he’s got everything he needs,” said Wildlife Officer Steve McClung, “And I hope I never see him again.”
East Canyon firefighters spotted the injured bear on June 16 and alerted the CPW in Durango.
Wildlife officers found the two-year-old male bear in a boggy area. He was tranquilized and taken to the Frisco Creek wildlife rehabilitation facility in Del Norte.
A wildlife veterinary technician cleaned, applied salves and wrapped the bear’s paws. Bandages were changed 16 times. The bear was kept in a pen with concrete floors to keep the wounds clean, CPW officials said.
“He was a good patient,” said Michael Sirochman, veterinary technician and manager of the Frisco Creek facility.
The bear only weighed 43 pounds when he arrived at the rehab facility. He was 110 pounds with toughened up paws when he was released, in good shape to survive the wild according to Sirochman.