Tamarack, an orphaned bear cub, was rescued from a wildfire zone in Northern California last year after his paws were scorched in the flames.
He was being treated for his injuries at a wildlife rehabilitation center when he surprised his rescuers by escaping back into the wild.
Fortunately, Tamarack is still alive and well, despite his trauma in the past, and this video helps prove it.
Toogee Sielsch, a wildlife lover, has been tracking Tamarack’s activities on trail cameras put all across the woodland area near his home since his escape last summer.
From that vantage point, the orphaned bear cub has clearly outperformed the odds and is thriving.
Tamarack was recently caught on video taking a bath in a huge puddle by one of Sielsch’s cameras.
He wasn’t alone, though. Tamarack was accompanied by a toy bear that he’d apparently discovered and befriended.
The origin of the bear toy is unknown, but it is certainly something Tamarack treasures, Sielsch smiled when he saw them together.
“I thought how it was almost a perfect example of the playfulness of not only young black bears, but all of them,” Sielsch told The Dodo.
However, the video above is simply the most recent joyful chapter in the life of a bear that had a tough start. And, fingers crossed, the best is yet to come.
“It makes my heart very happy to have watched his progress against all odds as an orphaned and healing cub of the year, now yearling,” Sielsch said.
“It shows just how tenacious wildlife is when it comes to survival.”