See How Fish Skin Bandages Help Heal Bears Burned in a California Wildfire
When the Thomas Fire blazed through nearly 282,000 acres of southern California late last year, it left chaos in its wake. The flames claimed 15 peoples' lives and thousands of homes, and they also disrupted the area's wildlife.
After the fire had subsided, vets swooped in to rescue two adult bears—one was pregnant—and a 5-month-old cougar from Los Padres National Forest. The bears had suffered third-degree burns on their paws, and one of them was so injured it couldn't stand. The cougar cub sustained similar second-degree burns.
Along with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Jamie Peyton and other UC Davis veterinarians stepped in. Instead of wrapping the animals' paws up in traditional bandages, they turned to