Baby bobcats found by group of hikers in Maricopa County

A group of hikers came across a couple of baby bobcats while out on the trails in Maricopa County a few weeks ago, and their mother was nowhere to be found.

"People will find young ones like this and assume that they're maybe orphan," Kim Carr said.

Before the hikers brought the bobcats to Southwest Wildlife, Carr says she could tell the folks who took them in may have cared for them a little too long, which is a problem, she says, that happens too often.

"People will find kittens all the time and think, 'Oh, there's no mom in sight,' while the mom is out hunting and can't always take the kittens," she said.

Because taking these wildcats into your home could affect their chances of surviving back out in the wild.

"We noticed that one is maybe a little bit more unafraid of people than the other ones, so we're hoping we can wild them up," Carr said.

The bobcats are a couple of months old now and Southwest Wildlife says they're perfectly healthy, but the conservation center's main concern is making sure the kittens are "wild" enough to be released back where they belong.

"Once they've had all their vaccinations and they're ready to go outside, they'll go with a bobcat foster mom that will kind of teach them to be wild," Carr said.