Two female black bears and a young mountain lion were brought to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife in Rancho Cordova in December for treatment. Both bears had severe, painful burns on their paws. The younger one had third degree burns on all four paws. The five month old cougar seen limping about Santa Paula, Ventura County was also brought in for treatment, too young to be released back into the wild though his wounds were healing. Veterinarians from UC Davis realized that there was no time for traditional burn treatment which requires multiple changes of bandages. The animals were not comfortable in captivity, and it was difficult to administer pain medications. One of the bears was pregnant; there was a real possibility the mother bear would reject her offspring while under stress. In order to speed up the process of healing and return the bears to the wild, the vets turned to an innovative bandage seen used on human patients in Brazil, but never in the United States.
|a bear on the mend|