Li’l Smokey Videos

Below is LTWC’s collection of Li’l Smokey videos. Li’l Smokey was a bear cub who arrived at LTWC in July 2008 after a firefighter rescued him from a forest fire. Although Smokey arrived with severe burns on all four of his paws, he was rehabilitated back to full health by LTWC and released back into the wild in February 2009. Smokey received national media attention and drew the attention of thousands of fans who followed his story from rescue to release.

3 Responses to Li’l Smokey Videos

  1. Mimi at Tahoe says:

    Christopher if you’re still there, and Terry: thanks for your interest and donations. I watched L’il Smokey on the webcam from another town, went vegetarian and moved here, took the volunteer training. Lots to learn but here goes. L’il Smokey was placed in a den in far northern California, Siskiyou County, “3 hours out of Yreka” where the roads are not very good. He has streams and abandoned farms with fruit trees. It’s great bear country. He was fitted with a transmitter. While fly-overs are expensive, we know he stayed in the same area, so he was happy there. In summer 2013 I contacted an animal communicator who “tuned in” on the bear. Some folks rolled their eyes and didn’t buy this stuff. The woman said the bear is content. He sees a few bears, fewer people. He said more wild animals are agreeing to be cared for, as he was. Communication with people is improving. . . . To over-simplify a bit, the healthy cubs in the bear house were born in February. Typically they are orphaned in early spring. They come here traumatized. If they’re under weight, badly dehydrated, they get special help. We got some sibling pairs this year. Like any of us, they move on from their loss and learn to push the big tires around. They grow and play and feel good. There are lessons all around them. We smear peanut butter on the logs. They smell this and all run into the playroom so we can close the door and clean the food room. It also teaches them “good things come out of logs.” They’re given grapes on the stem so they’ll recognize grapes later. Fishermen donate fresh not-cleaned fish — sometimes even live fish! Sometimes even live crawdads! Other kinds of protein are put in the bear house just to expose them to new possibilities, i.e., recently what looked like a tiny dead fawn. L’il Smokey was given a live fish in his pool. I hope they have a video of that. Clever, funny little bear! No, don’t worry about these cubs. There’s a huge success rate for them. They get quite round, I believe heavier than a cub would be in the wild with its mom. They wake up in their den in the spring, come out and they’re free! We’ve never cuddled them or talked to them. They figure it out pretty quick. Hope this helps!

  2. Terry says:

    Wondering why you didn’t answer Christopher Knisely’s inquiry – I’m sure everyone would like to know the answer to that, incl myself. Bears stay with their mother’s for up to the age of 2yrs. to learn how to hunt, fish, etc. Can’t quite understand releasing such a youngster with nobody to help it learn these imperative skills and expect it to survive. Why didn’t you go all the way with him & maybe have him fish out of a pond at the clinic before release? No doubt he expects to have food of all kinds thrown into his immediate vicinity such as he had at the clinic. Any indication of his survival? You’ve done a great job! Just not sure why you then dropped the ball?

  3. Christopher Knisely says:

    I would like to know if Lil Smokey has been seen since his release. I sure hope he has survived, he missed much learning he would have gained from being with his mother. I also want to say thank you for what you do at LTWC. I wish I had a job or lived near by, I would be sending you money and volunteering for anything you need. It is a great and noble thing LTWC is providing.

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