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Wildlife Hit by Elk Complex Fire

flickr.com, Odalaigh

PINE, Idaho (AP) — The Elk Fire Complex, which has burned 175 square miles in the Boise National Forest and destroyed 38 residences, also took a toll on animals in the area.

Forest Service wildlife biologist Scott Bodle tells KTVB-TV that in the small area he’s surveyed he’s found dead cattle and 30 wild animals, including a bear, some elk and around 20 deer.

Bodle says the lightning-caused fire exploded so quickly that some animals died from smoke inhalation while bears have been injured after climbing a tree to get away from the flames, only to have that tree catch fire.

Some injured animals have had to be euthanized, while a red tailed hawk has already been returned to the wild. Bodle says others will be rehabilitated at animal hospitals and then released.

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