By Lauren Lewis –
December 13, 2018
Photos from Idaho Black Bear Rehab (IBBR), Facebook
It is with heavy hearts that WAN shares the sad news that Cinder, the inspiring bear who was brought to recover in Idaho after her paws were tragically burned in a wildfire four years ago, was shot dead a little more than one year ago, by a heartless hunter.
According to Idaho Black Bear Rehab (IBBR), which cared for Cinder before her release into the wild, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) shared the devastating update with the nonprofit organization yesterday.
As noted in one of numerous posts on the IBBR’s Facebook page, WDFW explained that the department had recollared Cinder in her den two years after her initial release. When Cinder’s collar stopped transmitting in October 2017, the department believed she was still hibernating in her den.
Due to heavy snow in the spring, and the cougar creek fire in the summer, the department was not able to go back and retrieve their cameras until September 2018.
“Unfortunately, instead of finding a den,” noted the explanation on Facebook, “we found Cinder’s skeletal remains. It appears that she was killed by a hunter in October 2017.”
Sally Maugan of IBBR shared memories of Cinder, as well as insight into the countless animal rescuers who worked so hard to save her life.
“Not many of us can know the pain and suffering that accompanies burns of that magnitude, the pain of recovery, bandage changes, and all that goes along with it. Yet Cinder was a definite inspiration to humans who also knew that pain and suffering, and to the many supporters around the world who followed her story,” Maugan shared in an emotional post. “I think most of us felt if she could do it, if she could fight to recover, if she could regain her freedom, then we humans could also face our own traumas and survive to live again.”
“As wildlife rehabilitators, we all face the goal of recovery and release,” continued Maugan. “However, we also face the inevitable knowledge that once released, the animals are in charge of their own lives and there is little we can do to impact that.”
IBBR has helped save more that 200 bears over the past 29 years.
“I never met a bear who would consider living in captivity as really living,” said Maugan. “Our tribute to Cinder is to never forget her, to thank her for showing us how to heal in the worst of times, and for her courage and fight to survive to live free again.”
Maugan also made a point to appreciate the WDFW, Pilots N Paws, Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care, Inc., and everyone involved for all of their “care and kindness in giving Cinder a second chance.”
WAN echoes their appreciation! R.I.P. sweet angel Cinder!
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