One small survivor of the north state fires has made a huge impact on animal lovers. We were allowed into the place little Smokey the bear now calls home; where few cameras have been allowed to go.
LilÃ¢â?¬â?¢ Smokey was found by a firefighter in the Shasta trinity national forest with burns on his paws and ears. Amazingly, he has defied the odds, making significant progress on his long path to healing. As lilÃ¢â?¬â?¢ Smokey grows, some changes have had to be made, helping to ensure he is ready to be released back to the wild.
He has been moved to a new enclosure with more challenging climbing obstacles and different surfaces. With a little luck, Smokey will leave his new enclosure and be returned to his original home in the Shasta-trinity national forest in January 2009. But, his release is a whole other science. Bear cubs are put into hibernation in the early or late winter, and then they are taken to an area within 50 square miles of where they were originally found. They are set up in a remote area with a den or igloo, and when they wake up, they adapt to their surroundings.
The Lake Tahoe wildlife center is the only certified bear rehabilitation center in California. If you would like to help provide for lilÃ¢â?¬â?¢ Smokey and all the other animals it saves, please log on to our website and click on news links.