Bear Cub Injured in Brush Fire Recovering at Tampa Zoo

"Smokey Jr." has singed fur but "otherwise appears healthy and strong," according to a zoo spokesperson

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

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

The sport with the frenzied sweeping and clacking rocks has rules that literally require players to treat opponents with kindness. Referees aren't needed, because curlers police themselves. And the winners generally buy the losers a beer.

According to the fire department, "SJ's" face and paws were burned in the brush fire, which consumed some 250 acres in Lake County last week. A resident heard the cub crying and alerted authorities.

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

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Once the cub reaches 10 to 15 pounds, he'll be relocated to another facility to prepare him for release later this year, Nelson said.

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

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