Fla. firefighters rescue baby bear from wildfire, name it ‘Smokey Junior’

(WRIC/ABC) — A group of firefighters found an orphaned bear cub in the midst of a brush fire. In a nod to the iconic firefighting bear “Smokey,” they named the adorable animal “Smokey Junior.”

Firefighters rescued the baby bear in Central Florida near Orlando on Thursday evening.

Fire crews from Lake County were battling a brush fire that had burned through more than 250 acres when they stumbled upon “Smokey Junior” wandering alone.

The rescued bear weighed in at roughly 15 to 20 pounds. Firefighters nicknamed the foundling “SJ” — short for “Smokey Junior.”

Officials said the baby bear suffered slight burns on its paws and face from the fire. The cub’s mother has yet to be found.

Florida Fish and Wildlife officers will evaluate the cub’s health and will hopefully be able to release it back into the wild.

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