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Bobcat escapes enclosure at National Zoo, eludes zookeepers

By
Ben Hooper
The Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is asking area residents to be on the lookout for an escaped bobcat named Ollie. Photo courtesy of the Smithsonian's National Zoo
The Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is asking area residents to be on the lookout for an escaped bobcat named Ollie. Photo courtesy of the Smithsonian's National Zoo

Jan. 30 (UPI) -- The Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington is warning residents to keep watch for a bobcat that apparently escaped from her enclosure Monday morning.

The zoo said Ollie, a wild-born female bobcat estimated to be about 7 years old, was last seen by zookeepers about 7:30 a.m. Monday, but she was not in the enclosure when feeding time rolled around at 10:40 a.m.

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Animal care staff searched the immediate area for any signs of the 25-pound feline, but were unable to locate it.

The zoo said staff are hoping to lure Ollie back to her enclosure, as the animal could return to familiar areas when she seeks food and shelter.

Officials said the area around the bobcat enclosure is being kept closed to the public as Ollie will likely attempt to stay hidden from humans and could be concealing herself somewhere nearby.

The zoo warned members of the public not to approach the bobcat, but they said the animal is unlikely to pose any danger to zoo guests or the outside public.

"Bobcats are not known to be aggressive to humans," the zoo said.

A 19-month-old red panda named Sunny went missing Jan. 23 from her enclosure at the Virginia Zoo. Officials said the animal has not been located, but is believed to still be on zoo grounds.

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