RIVERSIDE, Calif. --A homeless trio rescued a 3-month-old bobcat along a bike path in Riverside's Fairmount Park after the cub's mother abandoned it during an encounter with menacing crows.
Amber LaFortune, Winda Bosquez and Mike Lairy came across the bobcats while biking along the Santa Ana River bike trail between Mission Inn Avenue and Market Street Friday.
The women say the mother was anxiously trying to get her babies away from a pair of crows on a bridge overpass.
"On the other side of the fence, she looked at her kittens, looked back at where she needed to go, grabbed one of the kittens and then boned out," LaFortune said.
Bosquez said the crows came within inches of the abandoned cub.
"The crow swooped down like two more times. The second time, it almost got it," Bosquez said.
While the mama bobcat got away with one of her kittens, she didn't return for the second.
The two women who live in an encampment in the Santa Ana riverbottom were determined to rescue the baby bobcat, so they placed it in a backpack.
"We let her by herself. She got out and tried to barrel herself into the clothes that were in the corner of the tent," LaFortune said.
LaFortune, 27, says her boyfriend helped them by contacting the Riverside County Department of Animal Services.
Animal control officer Lorena Barron-Lopez took the cub in.
"Even though it's super cute and we would all love to cuddle it, that's not a good idea at all," Barron-Lopez said.
Officials estimate the kitten is about three months old. It's now being cared for at the Western Riverside County/City Animal Shelter in Jurupa Valley.
Now safe from predators, the two women, despite wanting to keep it as a pet, say they did the right thing.
"It felt good making sure they didn't want to euthanize it or anything like that because I didn't want it to die. That was the whole reason why we wanted to rescue it," LaFortune said.