Success Stories

Li'l Smokey, an orphaned bear cub burned in a wildfire

Below are the stories of three extraordinary wildfire survivors. All three arrived at LTWC as orphans suffering from severe burns. They were all treated at LTWC and restored to full health. And all were successfully returned to the wild as healthy animals, able to care for themselves.

For more heartwarming stories of animals that LTWC has successfully raised, rehabilitated and released, see Releases.

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Li'l Smokey

Li'l Smokey, with bandages on his paws.

In July 2008, firefighter Adam Deem rescued a frightened bear cub who was badly burned on all four paws. The cub, dubbed Li’l Smokey, was transported to LTWC for care.

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Chips the bobcat, the day she was rescued.

During the Amador County Chips fire in August of 2012, firefighters found a tiny female bobcat who was dazed and had trouble seeing. After flushing out the kitten’s eyes, a firefighter transported her to LTWC, where volunteer vet Dr. Kevin Willitts treated her for 2nd-degree burns on her paws and an eye infection.

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Cinder, with bandaged paws

In the summer of 2014, a yearling bear cub from Washington State was found with severely burned paws. Because of LTWC’s success with Li’l Smokey, the young bear, dubbed Cinder, was transported to us by plane.

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