Chips the bobcat growled at the camera, as a wild bobcat should, shortly before being transported to her release site in Humboldt County (Photo courtesy Robert Campbell, volunteer and rehabilitation worker, Sierra Wildlife Rescue)
Chips the bobcat, who was only four weeks old when she was rescued last August by U.S. Forest Service firefighter Tad Hair and his Mad River Hand hotshot crew, is now 8 months old and back in bobcat territory in Lassen County, Calif.
Because of early human handling to treat her second-degree burns, rescuers initially thought Chips acted a little too friendly towards humans raising concerns that she could not survive in the wild. Read more »
Chips’ savior - Mad River Hand Crew superintendent, Tad Hair. US Forest Service photo
While conducting patrol and mop-up operations on the north end of the Chips Fire burning on the Plumas and Lassen National Forests in Northern California on Aug. 25, the Mad River Hand Crew encountered a remarkable sight; a baby bobcat! It was found wandering along the side of the road, alone and dazed. “It seemed to be confused,” said Tad Hair, the Mad River Hand Crew superintendent who spotted the kit.
According to Hair, it was the size of a domestic kitten and seemed to have impaired vision, perhaps from the smoke and ash in its eyes. “It was walking in circles near a stump” said Hair. Once they verified that there were no obvious physical injuries on the kit the crew attempted to walk away, but she swiftly followed the sounds of their movements. Each time the crew would stop, she would curl up on Hair’s boots, snuggling into his chaps. Read more »