Orphaned bear cub named Tamarack was saved from Northern California wildfires last year, with his paws severely scorched.
He was being treated for his injuries at a wildlife care center when he managed to escape back into the wild, much to the amazement of his rescuers.
Tamarack, despite his ordeal in the past, is still alive and well – and there’s an adorable video to prove it.
Toogee Sielsch, a wildlife enthusiast, has been tracking Tamarack’s travels on trail cameras put across the forest near his home since last summer. From that vantage point, the orphaned bear cub has clearly outperformed the odds.
Tamarack, on the other hand, isn’t just surviving; he’s thriving.
Tamarack was recently caught on camera taking a bath in a huge puddle by one of Sielsch’s cameras. He was not, however, alone. Tamarack was accompanied by a toy bear figure that he had obviously discovered and befriended.
Here’s a video of the pair in action:
It’s unclear where the bear toy came from, but Tamarack definitely treasures it. Sielsch smiled when he saw them together.
“I thought that was nearly a great illustration of not only juvenile black bears, but all of them,” Sielsch told The Dodo.
But the video above is simply the most recent happy chapter in the life of a bear who had a rough start. And, perhaps, the best is yet to come.
“It warms my heart to have observed him progress as an orphaned and recuperating cub of the year, now yearling,” Sielsch added. “It demonstrates how tenacious wildlife is when it comes to survival.”