Ollie the bobcat gives US zoo the slip

This image released by the Smithsonian National Zoo in 2013 shows a female bobcat named Ollie
This image released by the Smithsonian National Zoo in 2013 shows a female bobcat named Ollie

A dash for freedom by an elusive feline from Washington's National Zoo triggered a three-day cat hunt in the nation's capital—and an online sensation—until the search was called off Wednesday, and Ollie the bobcat was declared free.

The seven year-old, 25-pound (12-kilogram) female went missing early Monday from her enclosure, apparently after slipping through a hole in the fencing.

Ollie's escape sent a team of zookeepers, and animal rescue workers on her trail, as they took in reports of Ollie sightings—real or imagined—across the city.

A dozen schools near the zoo kept students indoors during recess periods just in case—and social media had a field day, with dozens of memes featuring the runaway cat going viral.

Since bobcats are not aggressive towards humans, and Ollie is not considered to pose a threat, zoo authorities decided to suspend the hunt in the name of common sense.

"I don't mean to be pessimistic at all but, we're looking for a cat who could literally be sitting in a tree right next to us," Craig Saffoe, curator of great cats at the zoo, was quoted as saying by The Washington Post.

The gray-furred, short-tailed feline is assumed to have found a happy new home in nearby Rock Creek Park, a large area of heavily-wooded parkland that cuts through the US capital—replete with rodents, birds and other bobcat delicacies.


Explore further

Japan zoo recovers missing red panda after frantic search

© 2017 AFP

Citation: Ollie the bobcat gives US zoo the slip (2017, February 1) retrieved 20 February 2020 from https://phys.org/news/2017-02-ollie-bobcat-zoo.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
7 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments