Cinder, bear burned in fire and treated at Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care, killed by hunter
LEAVENWORTH, Wash. — A bear cub sent to a South Lake Tahoe animal center after it was badly burned in a 2014 Washington state wildfire has been killed by a hunter.
Rich Beausoleil with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife said a team in September set out to find the den of the bear nicknamed Cinder because her radio-transmitting collar stopped working, KOMO-TV reported.
Officials hoped the collar stopping transmitting in October 2017 because she was holed up for the winter. Instead, the team found her remains close to where she was set free back in 2015. A hunter had shot her and cut the collar, Beausoleil said.
Cinder was last seen alive and healthy by researchers in February 2017 when they checked on her in her den high in the Cascade mountains.
She was originally found under a horse trailer after a wildfire set off in July 2014 in north-central Washington state’s Methow Valley. It burned about 400 square miles, destroyed 300 homes and was the largest fire in recorded state history.
Cinder at the time weighed just 37 pounds and had third-degree burns on all four paws — so scorched that she was walking on her elbows. She was discovered in the yard of a house two weeks after the fire swept past it.
Cinder was sent to Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care because of the wildlife rehabilitation center’s experience treating animals with burns, the Tribune reported at the time.
Eventually she was sent to a center in Idaho for further treatment.
Her rescue and rehabilitation captured global attention.
An interactive children’s e-book called “Cinder the Bear” was released on the Apple Book Store, with proceeds benefiting Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care and Idaho Black Bear Rehabilitation where she was treated.
Cinder at 2 years old was then released in June 2015 alongside an orphaned cub named Kaulana, a younger male cub also injured by wildfires who wouldn’t leave Cinder’s side.
Kaulana was also found killed by a hunter in 2015, which was within bear hunting season and a legal kill.
The Associated Press and Tahoe Daily Tribune contributed to this report.