National Zoo reports missing bobcat last seen Monday morning

National Zoo officials are searching for a 25-pound bobcat that escaped her enclosure this morning. Ollie is wild born and estimated to be nearly seven years old. At 10:40 a.m., when Ollie did not respond at feeding time, zookeepers conducted a search of the enclosure and were unable to find her anywhere.

Bobcats are not known to be aggressive to humans, the zoo said. Students at nearby American University were alerted by text message that the animal was on the loose. However, no one should approach her if spotted.

The bobcat, whose name is Ollie, was accounted for at 7:30 AM.

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The zoo was quick to note that the bobcat poses no imminent danger to guests or the general public. "It will be very, very hard to find her".

Traps have been put in place to capture the adorable creature if she returns on her own. Smith said that at her exhibit, "There's shelter, there's food, there's warmth". According to The Post, the huge-whiskered brownish gray cats eat rabbits, squirrels, mice and small deer.

Bobcats can run up to 30 miles per hour and are excellent climbers, according to the zoo's webpage on the animal. However, the animal could be tempted by house cats or small dogs that are left alone outside, Smith said. Keepers do routine checks of all animals at the Zoo first thing in the morning. Rusty the red panda become infamous for his brief escape from the zoo in June 2013. He was recaptured in D.C.'s Adams Morgan neighborhood the following afternoon. In a news release, the zoo says it has received tips from neighbors that suggest the 25-pound cat may be in the Woodley Park or Cleveland Park neighborhoods of Northwest DC.

  • Toni Ryan