If you happen to come across a large 25 pound cat wondering around today your eyes may not be playing tricks on you. The National Zoo announced this morning that a bobcat had escaped from its enclosure at the zoo and has yet to be found. The animal managed to squeeze its way through an opening in the mesh that surrounded its habitat.
Zookeepers explained that they had last seen the cat at 7:30 a.m. and noticed that the bobcat was no longer in its cage at 10:40 a.m. and was believed to have escaped. This is the usual time for Ollie’s morning feeding.
Once it came to the zookeeper’s attention that the 7 year old bobcat was missing the contacted the United States Park Police as well as the Washington D.C. animal control. The area surrounding Ollie’s enclosure has been closed off to protect visitors of the zoo and to keep the bobcat enclosed if she happens to still be in the area. Doing this is also beneficial because it keeps the area quiet, making it more likely that she will roam back to her enclosure for food and shelter.
One problem with this particular escape is that the zoo sits right up against Rock Creek Park, which just so happens to be a perfect environment for a bobcat to thrive in with plenty of areas for Ollie to hide and roam around. This could mean that it will take months before Ollie is found and returned to her home. There are plenty of birds and small animals for her to hunt and lots of trees to find shelter in.
Ollie herself has been described as a gifted hunter. Many birds that enter into the exhibit don’t usually make it back out.
Zoo workers have set up bait traps around the area and are using cameras to try and track her down. While it’s possible that she is in the nearby park, it is more likely that she is still inside of the zoo somewhere.