Last summer “the Jesusita wildfire raged near Santa Barbara, California, 90 miles northwest of Los Angeles, consuming over 8,700 acres of land and forest, and destroying or damaging nearly 100 homes. Some 30,000 people, over half the city’s population, were forced to evacuate their homes. While thousands of firefighters devoted their time to containing the blaze, one group of rescue workers gets scant media attention - animal rescue teams that work around the clock to help displaced pets and wildlife and save as many lives as they can.
“Don’t you dare!” I hear Julia Di Sieno say gently to someone in the background as I speak to her on the phone. She is Co-founder and Director of Animal Rescue Team, a nonprofit organization which has been inundated with animals they’ve rescued and calls for help since the fire broke out last week. Her organization specializes in wild animals, particularly fawns and mammals, while domestic pets they rescue get sent to the local Humane Society. Out of curiosity, I ask who she’s talking to, figuring it’s one of her animals. “It’s the bobcat! She was trying to pee on me!”
Di Sieno helped rescue the bobcat kitten [seen in this photo] near Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Ranch, where it was dehydrated and near death. Di Sieno nurtured it back to health. They rescued the fawn during last week’s wildfire [a week later]. Although wild animals, especially of separate species, are never placed together due to regulations, in this emergency situation, they had no choice. During the mayhem of the fire, they were forced to put animals anywhere they could, since they had run out of crates large enough for the fawn. The kitten ran to the fawn, and it was instant bonding.”
Photo by Lisa Mathiasen from the Animal Rescue Team
[Read more about the rescue operations that led to this awesomely cure scene over at Discovery Animal News]