RANCHO CORDOVA, California- The California Department of Fish &Wildlife  says a  little black bear that was burned in the Carr Fire continues her steady recovery at the CDFW Wildlife Investigations Lab in Rancho Cordova.

Under the care of Dr. Jamie Peyton of the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, and Dr. Deana Clifford, CDFW’s senior wildlife veterinarian, the yearling has now had two treatments of tilapia skin bandages sutured directly onto her feet.

These photos, taken by Dr. Peyton, show the same paw (sans tilapia) five days apart. The new growth of delicate skin in the latter photo (bottom) is clearly visible. Dr. Clifford reports that the bear has a healthy appetite – so much so that the lab staff can now confidently add pain medications directly to her food, without worrying that she’ll miss a dose.

The bear is spunky and very wild, either bluff charging or running away from staff when it’s time for treatment. This is actually a very good sign, as we want her to retain her natural fear of humans and continue to avoid them once she is returned to the wild. The early signs of healing are encouraging; staff will continue to follow the bear’s progress closely in the hope that she can be released as soon as possible, the agency said.