Boo Boo the Bear quickly becoming national celebrity

Boo Boo the Bear quickly becoming national celebrity
Photo Courtesy of Kari Greer/ National Forest Service
McCALL, Idaho (KBOI) - Well, it didn't take long until Boo Boo became a celebrity.

The young bear’s story of burned paws and rescue by National Forest and Idaho Fish and Game personnel spread across the country in a matter of hours.

In the days since, both Boise National Forest and Idaho Fish and Game offices have received numerous phone calls and e-mails from people offering good wishes and monetary support. Many others have asked about volunteer opportunities to care for the young cub, who's now at the Wildlife Lab in Caldwell.

He's currently not accepting any visitors.

“We’ve heard from folks all across Idaho, and from other states including California, Texas and New York,” Fish and Game conservation educator Evin Oneale noted. “Each note or phone call has the same common theme – concern for this young bear. It’s very gratifying to know that so many people care.”

Fire officials rescued Boo Boo, who was orphaned by the Mustang Complex Fire on the Salmon River. The cub was found in a burn area near the Corn Creek Boat Launch Saturday morning.

The bear's paws were blistered with second-degree burns. A fire crew looked for the cub's mother without success.

Officials estimate that the 20-25 pound cub had not eaten in several days.

(Additional Photos of Boo Boo >>> Note: Some pics highlight the burns.)

With second-degree burns on all four paws, the young bear faces a long recovery.

“Infection is the main concern right now,” Oneale said. “At this time, our State Veterinarian is evaluating local facilities that can give the cub the medical attention it needs to make a full recovery.”

Meanwhile, the cub is being cared for at a Fish and Game facility where it is eating regularly and receiving necessary medical care.

Idaho Fish and Game is currently unable to accept donations to help pay for treatment.

“Once a care facility is selected, we’ll let people know where and how they can provide funding to cover the costs of care and treatment,” Oneale said.