(Cinder thrived during her time recovering at the Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care facility. Photo Credit: Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care)

During a 2014 wildfire, a sweet, young female black bear beat the odds and not only survived the fire but her severe burns. The bear, nicknamed Cinder, “underwent nearly a year of treatment and rehabilitation at Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care after she was rescued by a Methow Valley rancher who found her with third-degree burns to her paws from the Carlton Complex fire.”

She was eventually transferred to the Idaho Black Bear Rehabilitation so she could relearn how to be a wild bear and in the summer of 2015, after being fixed with a GPS radio collar, she was released in the mountains about 30 miles north of Leavenworth.

Sweet girl.

However, sadly, after all of that, back in September she was found shot to death. According to Rich Beausoleil of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife:

“…he and a team of researchers checked on Cinder in February of 2017 while she was in her den at the 5,000-foot elevation of the Cascades. The bear was of normal weight and healthy, and researchers replaced her radio collar with a new one.

Cinder’s radio collar stopped transmitting in October 2017, but officials hoped it was because she was holed up in a den for the winter, Beausoleil said.

Then, in September, a team set out to find Cinder’s den and instead found her skeletal remains not far from where she was set free. Beausoleil says it appears the collar stopped working because a hunter shot her then and cut the collar, rendering it inoperable.”

I am just heartbroken and I know so many others are as well. Cinder really had captured so many people’s hearts and had overcome such obstacles. She did not deserve this.

In her memory, you can buy the interactive children’s e-book, Cinder the Bear and the proceeds will benefit both Tahoe Wildlife Care and Idaho Black Bear Rehabilitation.