Lil’ Smokey Still Truckin’

Although he’s not moving far from his new home he’s still out there being a bear and doing what a bear does in the woods.

His burned paws long since healed, Li’l Smokey continues to roam the north state’s backcountry.

State scientists picked up the signal from a radio transmitter affixed to the black bear cub Wednesday, the third time he’s been detected since his release on Feb. 5, said Tom Millham, secretary-treasurer for Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care.

Found by a California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection firefighter last July near Buckhorn Summit, the young cub had been badly burned by the Moon Fire, one of the lightning-sparked blazes that plagued the north state last summer. He was dubbed Li’l Smokey due to the similarity of his tale to the famed Smokey Bear.

During 6 1/2 months in captivity, he was nursed back to health at Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care.

State Department of Fish and Game scientists fitted him with a radio transmitter and tucked him into a man-made den in the Klamath National Forest in Siskiyou County.

Scientists first tracked Li’l Smokey in April, showing the bear had awakened from hibernation and moved five miles from his den. They picked up Li’l Smokey’s signals again about 10 miles from the den in May.

The signal this week showed the bear is in the same general area where he’d been tracked before, Millham said.

He said Li’l Smokey weighed about 90 pounds when he was released and now has likely grown to about 150 pounds.

Source

Lil’ Smokey’s Blog

For more about the Lil’ Smokey story just put ‘lil smokey’ in the search bar up top.

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