Bobcat missing from National Zoo enclosure

Saffoe said Ollie is equipped to survive and that bobcats sometimes catch birds that land in their enclosure.

The bobcat was last seen around 7:30 a.m., the National Zoo said, but she was not in her enclosure by her breakfast time at 10:40 a.m.

Zoo officials are trying to lure Ollie back to the enclosure and feel she may return to familiar food and shelter at some point, but know it may be very hard to find her if she doesn't return. Students at nearby American University were alerted by text message that the animal was on the loose.

Ollie's habitat has also been shut down because she will likely stay hidden if there are a lot of people around.

Pamela Connery, volunteer executive director of the nonprofit Louisiana Bobcat Refuge, said she has been rehabilitating bobcats for about a decade.

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Although the majestic Ollie was born in the wild, she is not considered a danger to the public. DC owners of pomeranians and fancy chickens may wish to keep their pets inside.

As of this writing, the zookeepers were trying to lure the 7-year old bobcat back to the zoo, reports the Washington Post. As with the rest of her species, she runs at 30 miles and is an excellent climber, meaning recapturing her may prove hard. "It would be extremely easy on us if she were a cat who would come when called, but that's not who this individual is." Tuh.

"There's food, there's shelter, there's warmth at her exhibit", Smith said. They eat rabbits, squirrels, mice and small deer. "I would treat her the same way that I would treat a stray dog". Keepers do routine checks of all animals at the Zoo first thing in the morning.

In 2013, a red panda named Rusty famously escaped from the National Zoo. He was captured in a tree near a home in the Adams Morgan neighborhood.

  • Douglas Reid