Badly burned civet puts wildlife face on Chiang Mai fire

A nocturnal forest dweller badly burned in Chiang Mai is expected to live after footage emerged this morning of it regaining its appetite.

The badly disfigured and partially blinded Asian palm civet, gender and age unknown, was named “Ranger” by the doctor who treated it after it was found wandering in the wake of another massive blaze that has killed at least four people and scores of other wildlife.

“The doctor named it ‘Ranger.’ It’s tough and a relentless survivor. The latest update is that it’s gained some strength. Its wild instinct is back as it showed some aggression. It can slowly eat soft food until the plate is empty. Thank you everyone for the help,” the National Park Department wrote on Facebook

It was the victim of massive fires which have been burning for weeks west of the city in the Doi Suthep mountain area. Many of the fires are blamed on local farmers, while the large agriculture corporations they grow it for are held blameless. Officials have been accused of grossly mismanaging the response, and one forest firefighter recently committed suicide in protest.

The lean animal, native to South and Southeast Asia, was found Saturday by a group of good samaritans on a road to the summit of Doi Suthep. It was taken for treatment at an animal hospital with severe burn wounds to its eyes, mouth and tongue. 

Images of the civet were circulating online over the long weekend with netizens showing support for its health and recovery.

The fires have burnt thousands of hectares since last month and pushed Chiang Mai’s atrocious air pollution to record highs. Air quality there today was scored 201, or “very unhealthy,” by Air Visual.

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