Published: Tue, January 31, 2017
Science | By Carlton Santiago

Bobcat escapes enclosure at National Zoo, eludes zookeepers

"A female bobcat, Ollie, has escaped her enclosure", notes the Smithsonian's National Zoo website.

The 6-year-old cat was born in the wild and brought to the zoo when she was young. The bobcat was last counted by zoo keepers at 7:30 a.m. Monday, but around 10:40 a.m., Ollie didn't respond for the morning feeding.

Although bobcats are not typically known to attack humans, zoo officials are urging the public not to approach Ollie if seen, regardless of how cuddly-looking and adorable she is.

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Officials with the National Zoo said animal care staff have taken several measures to attract Ollie back to her enclosure.

Concerned about Ollie's lack of interest in food, the keepers did a thorough and immediate search of her enclosure and discovered she was missing from the exhibit. But bobcats are "very elusive", she said. She adds that bobcats are not known to be aggressive to humans and zoo guests are not in danger. As with the rest of her species, she runs at 30 miles and is an excellent climber, meaning recapturing her may prove hard.

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