BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A female bobcat has escaped from the Smithsonian’s National Zoo.
Ollie, a female bobcat estimated to be 7-years-old, was last seen by a keeper at 7:30 a.m. on Monday.
At 10:40 a.m., Ollie didn’t respond for her feeding. Staff searched the area, but couldn’t find the bobcat anywhere.
Zoo workers are trying to attract Ollie back to her enclosure, and they believe she may return for food and shelter.
“So she is not a threat unless you become a threat to her,” says Nora Welsh with the National Zoo.
In the northwest D.C. neighborhood, some people were more concerned about the animal over their personal safety.
“I am not that worried. I am from out in California, so bobcats are all around,” says one DC local.
“I got to be careful when I walk my dog,” says another DC woman, upon hearing that the bobcat had not yet been located by Monday evening.
This isn’t the first time that an animal has escaped from its enclosure here at the National Zoo.
In 2015, an agouti, a Central American rodent, escaped its enclosure, and “Rusty” the red panda who escaped in 2013 and took an excursion to Adam’s Morgan.
Zoo officials hope Ollie will also make a safe return.
“If people were to encounter her, we have a hotline set up. If you see the bobcat, do not approach her, call the hotline,” says Welsh.
The bobcat will likely stay hidden from humans, so the area around the bobcat exhibit is closed.
If you see Ollie, do not approach her, but call (202) 633-7362.
Bobcats are not known to be aggressive to humans, so the zoo says there is no imminent danger to zoo guests or the general public.