Tahoe's Li'l Smokey Gets Li'l Sleepy

Li'l Smokey is getting a li'l sleepy.

The badly injured bear cub rescued from a California wildlife this summer is going into hibernation at a South Lake Tahoe rescue shelter.

His burnt paws have recovered enough that he is being released back into the wild this winter. The release could come in January or February.

That way he'll be ready to forage once he wakes up next spring.

Check out images of Smokey here.

The bear was rescued as a cub this summer from the Moon Fire in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest by a Cal Fire forester.

Officials from Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care Inc. said he was recently moved to a bigger cage to get used to larger surroundings.

The bear was only 15 pounds and suffering from burns when he was admitted to the wildlife care center in July.

"We do not want him becoming used to people," Tom Millham of the wildlife center said. "And if he sees me coming, and he associates other people with me, when he's out in the wild he is going to stay away from those people, which is definitely a good thing."

Millham said per an agreement with Fish & Game, rescued animals are released within 50 miles of where they were found. The bear will be taken to the Shasta-Trinity National Forest.

You can check on him yourself by checking the live camera link here.

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