Florida

Baby Bear burns paws in Florida wildfire and needs Mama Bear now

Lake County Battalion Chief Tony Cuellar
Lake County Battalion Chief Tony Cuellar Miami

Once upon a time, Baby Bear burned his paws in a Florida wildfire. He made some new friends who rescued him.

Now he wants his mama.

Firefighters and wildlife officers in Lake County want to help him — and think they’ve found Mama Bear.

If the two take to each other, they’ll go off into the woods together. But if Mama doesn’t embrace Baby Bear, the cub will remain at a state wildlife center until he’s old enough to take care of himself.

Baby Bear was burned on Thursday on his paws and face in a 250-acre wildfire in the Royal trails section of Lake County, in Central Florida.

“Residents brought it out from the woods to the safety of LCFR firefighters,” Lake County Fire Rescue reported on its Facebook page.

The 20-pound Baby Bear, now named Smokey Jr., needs Mama Bear, said Mike Orlando, a spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

“The best opportunity that we have for this cub’s survival is to get it back to its mom,” he told wftv.com.

Greg Workman, another Fish and Wildlife spokesman, told dailycommercial.com that officers think they have located Mama Bear.

For now, Baby Bear is recovering at a local vet’s office.

Maybe soon he’ll be living happily ever after.

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