LAKE ALAMANOR – A baby bobcat is stealing the spotlight in the effort to clean up the Chips fire in California.
The Mad River Hand Crew was working a mop-up and patrol operation on Saturday, August 25, when they came across an animal the size of domestic kitten. It was a baby bobcat.
Tad Hair, the crew Superintendent, said the cat appeared confused. “It was walking in circles near a stump”, he added.
The baby bobcat kept following the crew, and event curled up in Hair’s boots each time he stopped. The crew could not find any sign of the mother bobcat. The lone animal seemed to be abandoned or lost. This kit was so young its eyes were just starting to open, and her first look at the world was clouded by smoke and fire.
The crew picked up the animal and named her “Chips”, after the fire.
Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care was called to help “Chips”. She was taken to a shelter and tended to by a veterinarian. Her eyes were flushed, her paws were bandaged, and she’s getting medicine three times a day.
“Chips” is now expected to regain vision in both eyes. Her paws were also burned, but are now bandaged up and healing. She is eating regularly and responding well to treatment.
The bobcat will spend the winter sheltered and cared for, while being exposed to other bobcats. When the staff determines the time is right, Chips will go back into the wild.
Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.