Veterinarians are estimating that it could take a 4-month-old bear cub at least a month to heal his badly burned paws. Until then, he'll be staying at the Idaho Humane Society in Boise, where the bear is anesthetized daily so the paws can be treated and the bandages changed.
The cub, first named Boo Boo, was discovered Aug. 26 clinging to a tree, a victim of the Mustang Complex Fire, which has scorched 221,000 acres along the Idaho-Montana border. After spending a week with an Idaho Fish and Game vet, Boo Boo was transported to Boise.
Officials at the Idaho Humane Society decided to rename the cub Bernard, saying the name was more appropriate. More importantly, they're keeping the animal isolated from humans, with the exception of twice-daily visits from a vet.
What happens next will be the decision of Idaho Fish and Game. One possibility would be to integrate the cub into a bear rehab facility to spend time with other bears, and possibly learn how to return to the wild.