A baby bear whose paws were scorched in a forest fire has been saved thanks to some unusual footwear. Li’l Smokey, a baby black bear cub, was rescued by fire fighters while fleeing a Shasta-Trinity National Forest wildfire, in northern California, in July. Suffering second and third degree burns on his paws after stepping on to the scorching ground, Li’l Smokey was taken to the nearby Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care Center for rehabilitation.
Weighing just 8.5lbs, the six-month-old cub, who was named by the fire fighter who rescued him, was given little chance of survival. However thanks to the care and attention of the workers at the center – and some unusual bandages and bear booties – Li’l Smokey is on the road to recovery.Now walking on bare paws, Smokey has been moved to a bigger cage with one screened side that means he will be subjected to the natural weather outside.