Firefighters rescued a bear cub and gave it a very appropriate name.
It was a lucky day for a Florida bear cub when it was rescued from a forest fire that has now been appropriately named Smokey Jr.
Firefighters were battling a 200 acre brush fire that had grown out of control near the Oscala National Forest on Thursday afternoon when someone alerted them of the baby bear in distress. “A resident in the area saw the bear and brought it to the attention of the firefighters, and they were able to get the bear out,” Lake County Florida Fire spokesperson Kelly Lassollette said.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that resident was 17-year-old Natorie Borst. Perhaps knowing he was in serious trouble, the cub actually approached them. “At first…he was skittish,” Borst told the Orlando Sentinel. “But at the same he came running toward us. He didn’t act like he was trying to hurt us, so we picked him up and took him out to the road.”
This cub was very lucky, suffering only some light burns to its face and paws in the incident. The only sad part of the story right now is that wildlife officials are still working to locate the cub’s mother.
“The cub is doing great,” forestry spokeswoman Judith Tear told the Orlando Sentinel. “Fish and Wildlife is on the scene looking for a mom and siblings. They will continue to keep it and put it at a rehab facility. At the time that it’s better it will be released.”
Here’s hoping Smokey Jr.’s story has a happy ending similar to the pizza shop bear. And you thought Smokey was just a forest fire safety mascot!