by Andrew Crisp
Boo Boo, the bear cub injured in an Idaho wildfire, is headed back to the woods, according to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.
It's been more than two weeks since a small bear cub suffering second-degree burns on all four paws was discovered north of Idaho's Mustang Complex Fire. The 4-month-old, 23-pound bear had not eaten in days when he was rescued by firefighters outside of Salmon.
Boo Boo weighed 46 pounds on Sept. 14, before he was moved to the Snowdon Wildlife Sanctuary by IDFG biologist Jeff Rohlman. He picked up the young bruin from the Idaho Humane Society shelter in Boise, where the bear spent more than a week recuperating.
Located in the mountains outside McCall, the Snowdon facility includes a two-acre reserve and works to help injured and orphaned wildlife return to the wild. Boo Boo will spend the first night in an adjacent pen, and then be released to roam the reserve freely.
According to IDFG officials, if the cub continues to heal, he could be released to the wild as soon as late fall.
The cub was originally dubbed "Boo Boo," after the cartoon Yogi Bear's sidekick, but was briefly renamed "Bernard" as a more "respectful" name by Humane Society officials before public backlash reinstated Boo Boo's original name.