Ollie the bobcat gives US zoo the slip
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, police officers 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.
© 2017 AFP