Cinder the bear whose paws were burned in wildfire killed by a hunter – Daily News

A famous bear cub nicknamed Cinder who was found with her paws severely scorched in a massive 2014 Washington wildfire has been killed by a hunter Rich Beausoleil, with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, has confirmed that a team in September set out to find the den of the black bear because her radio transmitting collar stopped working 11 months prior Beausoleil said officials hoped the collar stopped sending signals in October 2017 because Cinder was holed up for the winter   Share this article Share Instead, the team found the rescued bear’s skeletal remains close to where she was set free in 2015 in the mountains outside Leavenworth, Washington, after a nearly year-long rehabilitation Cinder was about five years old at the time of her death. In July 2014, Cinder, then a 34-pound cub, was found by a landowner cowering under a horse trailer after the Carleton Complex fire, her paws so badly burned that she was pulling herself along by her elbows  She completely healed after stints at a California wildlife center and the Idaho Black Bear Rehabilitation center, and in June 2015 was released with much fanfare back into the wild An orphaned cub named Kaulana that was released with Cinder was killed by a hunter five months later, reported Methow Valley News  According to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, in early 2017 officials tracked down Cinder in her den – a hollowed-out tree at 5,000 feet elevation – and replaced her GPS radio collar The bear appeared to be healthy the last time she was seen alive.  Cinder’s collar stopped transmitting in October of that year, so a WDFW team was dispatched into the mountains in December 2017 to place cameras in the forest in the hopes of photographing Cinder in the wild Because of heavy snowfall in the spring, followed by a wildfire in the summer, WDFW officials were unable to return to the area to retrieve the cameras until September of this year, which is when they made the tragic discovery All that was left of the resilient black bear that clawed her way from the brink of death and inspired the residents of Washington state to rebuild after the devastating wildfire was her skull and spine  According to Beausoleil, a bear expert with WDFW, it appears the unidentified hunter who killed Cinder cut off her collar, which is why it stopped sending signals in October 2017, and took all the meat and the bear’s hide In Washington state, it is not against the law to kill a collared bear during a hunt    Sally Maugan, with the Idaho Black Bear Rehabilitation center that cared for Cinder during the months leading up to her release, paid tribute to the slain bear on Facebook  ‘We will remember Cinder for the gentle, calm bear she was and for the pain and suffering and inspiration she became to so many humans,’ she wrote ‘She touched our hearts, filled our souls with compassion and the undeniable desire to help her heal She did heal, bringing us humans along with her – those who suffer in fire and loose so much ‘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 noted that while some people believe that it would be best to send rescued bears like Cinder to an animal sanctuary or a zoo to live out their days in safety, in her 29 years rehabilitating bears, she has never met one that would trade five days of freedom for a lifetime of living in captivity  Maugan said each of the 200 bears she has helped nurse to safety over the years had its own individual personality, and at some point during the rehabilitation process, the animal’s desire to regain its freedom becomes overwhelming   ‘As wildlife rehabilitators, we all face the goal of recovery & release,’ she wrote ‘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 We can be there should they need help again, but after release their lives belong to them ’ 

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