A young black bear who recovered from severe burns during the 2014 Washington wildfire has died at the hands of a hunter.
Cinder captured hearts after she was discovered beneath a horse trailer almost a fortnight after the devastating fire.
Just a cub at the time, little Cinder weighed a mere 37 pounds and had third-degree burns on all four paws. Her paws had been so badly damaged that she had to walk on her elbows.
Miraculously, Cinder managed to pull through; recovering from her serious injuries and becoming a symbol of resilience for many who were affected by the fire. At the time of her release, at the age of two, Cinder weighed a reported 127 pounds.
Researchers reportedly last spotted Cinder alive and in good health in February 2017 when checking on her den in the Cascade mountains.
An official from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife advised CBS News how Cinder’s radio collar had stopped transmitting as of October 2017.
However, the department had held out hope Cinder had hidden herself away in a den somewhere within the Cascades during the wintertime.
Sadly, this September, a team who set out to find Cinder discovered her skeletal remains close to where she had been set free following her incredible recovery.
The department’s bear specialist, Rich Beausoleil told CBS:
She inspired them to rebuild and move on from the devastating Carlton Complex Fire.
I’ll always remember someone saying, ‘If Cinder can do it, then we can do it.’ That inspired me too.
WHY are they allowing hunters to kill our Natural resources in the bear, wolves and other precious animals.? People who hunt animals for fun are the worst kind of human !!!!
— Janet Herold (@janetherold1) December 18, 2018
— Jolene Detillion (@traveldesigner_) December 14, 2018
Rest in peace Cinder, sickening.
— BRad From The Valley (@RapperBRad) December 14, 2018
As reported by The Seattle Times, the wildfire of July 2014 – which originated in north-central Washington state’s Methow Valley – was the largest fire to be recorded in the history of the state.
Approximately 400 square miles of land were ravaged by the flames, in a catastrophe which destroyed 300 homes.
People fell in love with Cinder and became inspired to rebuild their own lives in the aftermath of the terrible blaze. One local author even published an interactive children’s ebook, entitled Cinder the Bear: A True Story of Rescue, Recovery, Rehabilitation and Return.
Cinder the Bear was made available on the Apple Book Store, with proceeds given to the Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care and Idaho Black Bear Rehabilitation centre where Cinder was treated.
Because, of course. Man is the most destructive force in the history of the planet.
— The Lone Apple 🍎 (@The_Lone_Apple) December 18, 2018
Rest In Peace Cinder the bear 🐻🐾💕
— ❄️Teresa D. Shadden❄️ (@TeezaT78) December 18, 2018
I’ve never eulogized a bear before, but I suppose that’s what this is. ❤️🙏🏼🐻Telling Cinder bear’s story made me a better human over the years and she’s still a symbol of hope to many.🎥 https://t.co/ygBYbzuNf5 pic.twitter.com/Emj2B2OtMM
— Alison Morrow (@AlisonMorrowECO) December 14, 2018
In June 2015, veterinarian Randy Hein spoke to CBS:
It was the worst burns I’ve ever seen, My gut feeling was that the bear would live, but I didn’t know if she’d ever be able to be released into the wild because of how badly damaged and burned her paws were.
During her recovery process, Cinder befriended another injured cub by the name of an Kaulana; a young orphaned male who refused to leave Cinder’s side.
The firm friends were released together in in June 2015. Sadly, according to The Seattle Times, Kaulana was killed by a hunter in 2015 during bear hunting season.
Rest in peace, beautiful Cinder. Your bravery will not be forgotten.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.