Wildlife authorities report that the two black bears injured in the Thomas wildfire that swept through Santa Ventura and Barbara counties have been successfully treated and released into the wild. The two male bears have reportedly treated with an experimental burn therapy involving the fish skin.
Fish Skin Speeds Up Bears’ Recovery
According to Jamie Peyton, UC Davis’s chief of veterinary Integrative Medicine, following the aftermath of the Thomas fire, considered to be California’s largest wildfire in history, two adult black bears and a mountain lion were rescued and brought in for treatment.
Peyton declared that the animal suffered severe third-degree burns especially on their paws, injuries that rendered them unable to move. In conjunction with the standard treatment for burn, Peyton and his team tried holistic therapies in order to speed up their recovery.
Along with chiropractic massages and acupuncture, the two bears and mountain lion were also treated with tilapia fish skin, a novel burn therapy, successfully employed in the past to speed up recovery in human burn victims.
The technique involves harvesting tilapia skin patches, sterilizing them, and suturing them on the affected area. These fish skin patches can be held over the affected area 10 days before being removed.
Further research determined that the tilapia’s skin is rich in collagen, helping the skin mend much quicker than traditional means. The two adult black bears and the five-year-old mountain lion were brought to Peyton’s lab on the 22nd of December.
Following the treatment, both black bears have been released into the wild on the 18th of January. The mountain lion is still under observation. With one of the bears pregnant, the Wildlife Department contrasted a new den in their new home, the Lost Padre National Park.
As a precaution, both of them have been outfitted with a satellite collar.
Image source: Wikipedia