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Friendly bobcat taught to fear humans

Dec. 27, 2012 at 1:14 PM

PLACERVILLE, Calif., Dec. 27 (UPI) -- Volunteers with a California animal rescue group said they are trying to teach a friendly bobcat how to behave in the wild.

The volunteers with the Sierra Wildlife Rescue group in Placerville said Chips the bobcat was rescued as an orphaned kitten last summer during a Plumas County wildfire and was soon found to be too friendly toward humans to release into the wild, The Sacramento (Calif.) Bee reported Thursday.

"If you have a friendly bobcat in the wild, that's not going to work," said wildlife trainer Jill Tripoli, 56.

Tripoli said Chips has been introduced to a pair of rescued males, Tuffy and Sierra, who are doing a good job of hissing and being unfriendly toward humans. She said Chips receives a squirt from a water bottle when she is seen getting too friendly with a human.

Volunteers said they hope Chips will be ready to be released into the wild next spring alongside Tuffy and Sierra.

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