Bobcat burned in California wildfire set for release to wild

National News

This Nov. 13, 2020 photo provided by the San Diego Humane Society shows a young bobcat at the San Diego Humane Society’s Ramona Wildlife Center in Ramona, Calif. The young bobcat that was badly burned in a Southern California wildfire has been returned to its native habitat and will be released back into the wild. The San Diego Humane Society says the 7- to 9-month-old female was picked up on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020 from Ramona Wildlife Center and taken to an area near the site of the El Dorado Fire that has abundant food and water sources.(San Diego Humane Society via AP)

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A young bobcat that was badly burned in a Southern California wildfire will be released back into the wild, the San Diego Humane Society announced Tuesday.

The 7- to 9-month-old female was picked up on Tuesday from the group’s Ramona Wildlife Center.

A state Department of Fish and Wildlife worker took her to an area outside the site of the fire that biologists say has “rich food and water sources,” according to a humane society statement.

The blaze erupted in September near the small city of Yucaipa in San Bernardino County. It was sparked by a pyrotechnic device a couple used for a gender reveal party. The fire destroyed several homes and killed a firefighter in San Bernardino National Forest.

The bobcat was discovered on Oct. 13 by a woman walking her dogs. The emaciated cat was treated for burns, some of which were infected, and did so well that she doubled in size to more than 9 pounds (4.1 kilograms) in a month and made a full recovery in seven weeks, the humane society said.

“This is why we work so hard for every single patient who comes through our doors — so they can return to the wild and thrive in their natural habitat,” Andy Blue, campus director at the Ramona Wildlife Center, said in a statement. “This little fighter went from emaciated with severe burns to becoming a feisty predator who will be able to fend for herself in nature. We are thrilled!”

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