Wildfires are continuing to ravish the California landscapes as firefighters, and emergency rescue workers work tirelessly to put an end to the devastation. Not only has the landscape been charred, but homes have been destroyed, lives have been lost, and animals have suffered the grave consequences that fire and smoke brings.
Despite the horrific stories that have come out of this dreadful circumstance, some good has managed to evolve from it as well. In one California town, people went above and beyond to rescue one little innocent bear cub who was fighting for her life.
According to Fox News, a contractor found the bear cub lying in a heap of ash, completely unable to move or walk. She was still alive, but barely. Workers knew that they needed to help her as quickly as possible before it was too late.
They immediately contacted authorities, and the cub was taken to the California Fish and Wildlife’s lab in Rancho Cordova where the medical team began assessing her wounds.
Upon further inspection, she was suffering from severe third-degree burns on her paws, causing them to be swollen, raw, and very painful. They began giving the bear fluids and medicine to ease the pain. To administer pain medication to large wild animals, they must undergo heavy sedation, which isn’t something you can do routinely.
“You can only anesthetize them so many times. It’s hard on them. We can’t do that to them every day,” one worker explained. It’s also pretty tricky to make animals take oral pain medicines, so that caused more problems.
Seeing that their traditional options were running short, they began to think outside the box. Their reinvented method has gained them global attention and is helping one little cub speedily recover. They decided to give tilapia skin a try!
According to sources: “The California vets stitched the fish skins to the animal’s burned paws, then wrapped the treated feet with bandages of rice paper and corn husks, after reading about trials on human burn victims in Brazil that placed treated skins from tilapia, a ubiquitous species of fish, on burn victims to soothe pain and promote healing.”
This also proved to be more ethically sound since traditional bandaging, if consumed, could cause blockage in the animal’s intestinal tract.
Not long after completing the treatment, a miracle happened. “After the first time we put the bandage on, she woke up, she stood up,” the worker exclaimed. It was as if the ‘naturopathic’ route proved to be more helpful than anything she’d experienced yet!
After she gets adequate treatment and is well on her way to getting back to normal, she will be released back into the wild where she belongs.