The wild cat, who is only a whisker larger than my 22-lb tabby, Tripper, most likely climbed through a small opening in the mesh net around her habitat. During an inspection, keepers noticed that there was a 5″X5″ hole in the fence. Then they noticed that Ollie was nowhere to be found.
A search ensued, and recess was canceled at elementary schools in the area.
After three days of deploying staff to search for the escaped bobcat, the National Zoo suspended search efforts. Shortly thereafter, a zoo visitor reported seeing Ollie near the Bird House (aka the Fast Food Bobcat Restaurant). Zookeepers set traps and they caught Ollie in short order.
“I was over-the-moon thrilled,” Craig Saffoe, the curator of great cats, said about Ollie’s return. “When you find a member of your family, or somebody who’s been missing, it kind of fills you with joy, with crazy joy.”
Ollie was nonplussed. “I dunno what all the fuss was about. I just wanted to get me some birdies,” she said.