Bobcat kitten too nice? Volunteers think so

A baby bobcat was rescued from a Northern California fire and was nursed back to health.
U.S. Forest Service/CBS Sacramento

A Northern California animal rescue group is trying to help an orphaned bobcat kitten with a problem: She's too nice.

The kitten was just a few weeks old when she was found last August by fire crews battling a 75,000-acre fire in the Plumas National Forest, CBS Sacramento reported. She seemed to be confused and dazed, wondering around in circles. Her paws were burned.

"I couldn't just leave her there," said Tad Hair, the Mad River Hand Crew superintendent who spotted the kitten.

Named Chips, the bobcat was taken to the Sierra Wildlife Rescue in Placerville last month and nursed back to health. She would often follow her rescuers and nuzzle their boots.

Now, The Sacramento Bee reports volunteers there are trying to toughen her up to release her back into the wild next spring.

Volunteer Jill Tripoli says she's been introduced to two male bobcats who hiss and bare their claws at humans. And she now has to chase down her own mice for meals.

"If you have a friendly bobcat in the wild, that's not going to work," Tripoli told the paper. She said she is going to give Chips a squirt from a water bottle if she does anything as much as nuzzle a human.