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WILDLIFE | Look but don't touch

3 injured after bobcat kittens mistaken for domestic cats

Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Wednesday, May 9, 2018, 3:34 PM - Three people were injured after a family mistook bobcat kittens for domestic cats and tried to adopt them.

The family spotted the kittens in an alley in San Antonio Texas. Three members of the family were bitten after they took the kittens home and attempted to feed them milk.

They realized their mistake after performing a search on Google.

The blunder has drawn sharp criticism from the City of San Antonio's Animal Care Services (ACS) who, in a Facebook post, said "wildlife really should remain in the wild."

“These bobcat kittens are now orphaned and under quarantine with our partners at Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation because someone thought they looked like house cats,” ACS continues.

None of the bites were serious, but the family members required medical attention.

The kittens are in good health and are being monitored by experts, who plan to release them into a protected site once it's deemed appropriate.


In December, the social media photo-sharing site Instagram took steps to discourage selfies with wild animals by issuing a warning to users who search for popular terms associated with animal selfies.

Whether you're trying to capture a perfect photo or take a selfie, we encourage you to be mindful of the environment around you," Instagram says in an online statement.

"It's easy to get caught up in the moment when you're surrounded by nature's beauty, but risking damage to the environment—whether it's walking on wildflowers, moving a nest or carving initials—is never worth a few likes."

The sentiment is echoed almost unanimously by animal advocates.

"Approaching wild animals can drastically affect their well-being and, in this case, their survival," The National Park Service says on its website.

In U.S. national parks, regulations require guests stay at least 23 m from all wildlife and at least 91 m away from bears and wolves.

"Disregarding these regulations can result in fines, injury, and even death. The safety of these animals, as well as human safety, depends on everyone using good judgment and following these simple rules," The service says.


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