Adorable Elk Calf Rescued by Missoula Firefighters in New Mexico
As some like to complain about the cold and wet spring we have had so far, just stop to think that wildfire season will be here before you know it. Soon you will be praying for cold and wet when the smoke starts to settle in the valley. As we enjoy the smoke-free air in Montana, firefighters are hard at work battling wildfire flames in New Mexico.
Fire season is already burning much of the southwest.
As of today (5/24) the Calf Canyon Fire and Hermits Peak Fire have burned 311,148 acres in New Mexico. Nearly 3,000 firefighters are battling the wildfire. Firefighters from all over the map, even our very own Missoula Fire Department, are pitching in and helping.
The Missoula Fire Department sent an engine down to New Mexico to help with the fire fighting efforts. While checking the for hot spots in already-burned areas, they stumbled across a new addition to the area. A small calf elk was discovered.
They call the young elk "Cinder"
According to the Facebook post from the Calf Canyon Fire
A young elk calf was alone in an area of severely burned forest. “She was lying quietly in a six-inch deep layer of white ash, surrounded by the blackened remains of fir trees”, says firefighter Nate Sink. The Missoula crew observed her for an hour, in hopes that her mother would return. Eventually, they approached, and finding no adult elk tracks nearby, they sought help for little “Cinder” down the road in Upper Rociada.
They contacted local ranchers and found a livestock veterinarian. The vet recommended they rehydrate the calf with condensed milk and water. The Missoula crew fed the young calf using syringes as bottles. When Cinder was stable, they sent her to the New Mexico Wildlife Center where she is currently getting to know her surrogate mother.
They estimate it will take nearly 4 months of rehabilitation before Cinder can be released back into the wild.