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Chips is like any other bobcat. She has black-tipped pointed ears, yellow eyes with black pupils, sharp hearing and vision and can even climb trees, as well if not better, than any other member of its species. But, she has one big problem - She is just too nice to be a bobcat! While that may be a good thing in most other species in her case, it is a kiss of death!
The friendly feline's story began on August 25, 2012, when she was just a few weeks old. Caught in a nasty wildfire in Plumas County, Sacramento, the adorable kitten was found with burns on her paws and eyes filled with soot. The firefighters of the Mad River Ranger District looked for the mother to try re-unite the family. However, the search proved futile and since the cat kept following them around, they decided to take her to the Sierra Wildlife Rescue Center.
Named Chips after the wildfire in which she was found, the cute kitten immediately became the darling of the staff at the center. She was fed delectable morsels of pulverized mice and even given a soft bed to sleep on, while recovering from her burns. The friendly kitten responded by purring and snuggling into the arms of her human saviors.
However, now that Chips has fully recovered, the volunteer trainers know that they have to show some tough love, which in this case means teaching her how to be mean! That's because in the wild she will have to fend for herself by hunting her own mice and rabbit, and more importantly, learn how to snarl at humans!
They have therefore enlisted the help of two older 'meaner' bobcats - Tuffy and Sierra to teach her how to hunt mice and growl when she sees one of her human friends. In case she forgets, the trainers shower her with water! As for her soft bed? That has been replaced with the hard dirt surface!
Though Chips is not as friendly as she used to be, she still does like to take an occasional peak from her hiding place inside her enclosure, whenever she hears a humans approaching. But her progress towards being 'mean' is pretty good and the rescue workers are optimistic that she will be ready for the wilderness by this spring, which is when they plan to release her along with her mean buddies Tuffy and Sierra.
Resources: news.msn.com, dailymail.co.uk,upi.com