‘Hunter’ Kills Famous Black Bear that Survived Wildfire

Black Bear
AP Photo/Becky Bohrer
DYLAN GWINN

A black bear that gained national notoriety after recovering from wildfire burns in 2014, has been shot and killed, according to wildlife authorities.

Cinder, a black bear that had suffered severe burns in 2014 and spent years in recovery, was found shot and killed, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

According to CBS:

The department’s bear specialist, Rich Beausoleil, said Cinder’s radio collar stopped transmitting in October 2017, but he hoped it was because she was holed up in a den somewhere within the Cascades for the winter. This September, a team set out to find Cinder’s den and instead found her skeletal remains not far from where she was set free after her recovery.

Beausoleil said it appears the collar stopped working because a hunter shot her and cut the collar, rendering it inoperable.

Beausoleil also pointed out how instrumental Cinder’s story was in inspiring Washington State residents to rebuild and recover after the 2014 wildfires.

“She inspired them to rebuild and move on from the devastating Carlton Complex Fire,” he said. “I’ll always remember someone saying, ‘If Cinder can do it, then we can do it.’ That inspired me too.”

According to the Hill, “Cinder first gained headlines in 2014 after she was found under a horse trailer nearly two weeks after the fire. At the time, the bear cub reportedly weighed only 37 pounds and suffered third-degree burns on all four of her paws.

“The young bear later recovered from the fire, however, and reportedly weighed 127 pounds before being released back in the wild.”

Given that only the bear’s skeletal remains were found, and the tracking collar cut, it’s possible Cinder was shot by a poacher, not a hunter. Hunters will normally remove the entire carcass, even if they don’t utilize every part of the animal. Whereas removing the tracking collar would suggest that the shooter may have done so as a prelude to removing the head, something consistent with poaching.

Though, it is possible the animal was shot by an extremely unethical hunter.

Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn

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