A Bobcat From the Smithsonian’s National Zoo Is Missing
A bobcat is on the loose after escaping an enclosure at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo.
The zoo first noticed that a bobcat named Ollie was missing during a routine morning feeding, around 10:40 a.m on Monday. The 25-pound animal was last seen at the 7:30 a.m. feeding by zookeepers.
The zoo currently remains open, citing there is no immediate danger to the park guests. However, they advise staying clear of the bobcat if she is spotted.
“It is believed that she may return to her familiar grounds for food and shelter. Zoo staff are keeping the area around the bobcat exhibit closed because the bobcat will likely stay hidden from humans,” the Smithsonian’s National Zoo said in a statement.
Associate director of Animal Care Sciences for the zoo, Dr. Brandi Smith, said that one of the mesh enclosures might have broken. While it didn’t look like a forced act, the zoo believes that is how Ollie escaped.
While Ollie is on the run, there is no need to worry about her fending for herself.
“Cats are… they’re survivors. This is not like she’s out in an area, in an environment that she can’t survive,” Craig Saffoe, a curator for great cats at the zoo, said to NBC. “This a very survivable habitat; it’s one of the things that will make it very difficult for us to ensure that we can find her.”
Our female bobcat, Ollie, has escaped her enclosure. The approximately 25 lb. bobcat was last counted at 7:30 a.m. this…
Zoo officials don’t think the bobcat has gone far, but they are not certain if they will be able to find her.
“We are doing everything we can to ensure that we can get her back. The likelihood that we get her back? I mean, I’d be lying to you if I said that we’re definitely going to get her back,” Saffoe said to NBC. “We’re setting everything up to get the best chances of success here.”
It is also possible that Ollie could return to her enclosure on her own time.
“There’s food; there’s shelter; there’s warmth at her exhibit,” Dr. Brandi Smith said.
According to the zoo’s website, bobcats eat meat, mice, rats, and chicks in the zoo. While in the wild, the bobcats are known for hunting rabbits, hares, squirrels, and mice. The bobcat is also an excellent climber and can reach speeds of up to 30 miles per hour.
Anyone with information regarding Ollie should call the zoo hotline at 202-633-7362.