By Heather Janssen

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE (CBS13) – A South Lake Tahoe non-profit is asking for the public’s help to find a 6-month-old bear cub that escaped from its enclosure on their property.

“Tamarack”, aptly named for the wildlife in which he was rescued, suffered serious burns on his paws and was recovering at Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care for the last few weeks. Photos and videos of him burned and bandaged have been shared all over social media as he heals. His story has captivated communities.

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“I just want to follow him and see him get back into the wild,” said Kim Thornton, who has tracked his status since his rescue.

She was surprised to hear Tamarack discharged himself on Sunday night. He was supposed to be in LTWC’s care for at least another year, given he’s so young. The 25-pound cub escaped his enclosure by tunneling under an electric fence, despite his bandages.

“They’re very worried – they’re very upset,” said Ann Bryant of Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care. Bryant is the BEAR League’s executive director and works alongside LTWC often. She said she knows his care team is trying hard to find him and has sent alerts out to the South Shore Tahoe area.

Wildlife officials say he’s not a danger or threat to people, but his condition makes him very vulnerable himself. Bryant called bringing Tamarack back to recovery crucial.

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“He’s not well enough,” said Bryant. “His wounds haven’t started to heal enough.” She’s concerned over where he’s going, and believes he may be trying to head home to find his mom near Markleeville.

“I’m afraid he’s heading that way,” Bryant said.

Community members remain concerned as they follow this baby bear, in hopes he’s rescued a second time.

“I can’t imagine him walking around with his paws the way they were,” Thornton said. “I hope they find him.”

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Wildlife officials don’t believe he could have gotten too far. Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care, Inc. is asking those in the South Lake Tahoe area to keep a lookout and call their hotline at 530-577-2273 if he’s spotted. The public is asked to keep him in sight as they call, but do not approach him.

Heather Janssen