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Bear cub injured in brush fire recovering at Tampa zoo

Smokey Jr.
Posted at 8:12 AM, Apr 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-13 08:12:00-04

TAMPA, Fla. - A bear cub that was rescued from a central Florida brush fire is recovering at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo.

Zoo spokeswoman Rachel Nelson tells the Orlando Sentinel the 6-pound cub, named Smokey Jr., has singed fur but "otherwise appears healthy and strong."

She says the veterinary team is giving the 9-week-old black bear cub minimal interaction "to reduce the likelihood of imprinting or habitation." The goal is to return him to the wild.

Nelson says once the cub reaches about 10 to 15 pounds, they'll relocate him to another facility to prepare him for release later this year.

Officials are still searching for the cub's mother in rural Lake County.