Mountain lion burned in Thomas Fire gets bandage made of fish skin

Source: California Department of Fish and Wildlife

A mountain lion that was injured during the Thomas Fire in Ventura County is recovering thanks to an unusual technique- doctors have applied fish skin to his injuries.

The young mountain lion was rescued in Santa Paula on December 22 and had burn injuries on the pads of all four feet.

He was taken to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife's lab in Rancho Cordova where he was treated by a team of wildlife veterinarians. His care included the application of sterilized tilapia skin to his most severe injuries.

Veterinarians say the lion will likely chew off the fish bandage eventually, but they hope it will stay in place long enough to speed the healing process.

According to CDFW, the unusual technique – which doctors in Brazil have successfully used on human burn patients -- creates a biologic bandage to protect the burn area and provides collagen to help speed healing.

Officials say the lion is responding well to treatment so far and is expected to recover.

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