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Missing bobcat found on zoo property days after escape from Smithsonian Zoo enclosure

Ollie the bobcat has been found after being on the loose in Northwest Washington.

Ollie was found on zoo property Wednesday.

Zoo keepers told ABC7 News the cat escaped Monday morning through a hole in some mess around her enclosure. After receiving some credible tips overnight that Ollie was roaming the Cleveland and Woodley Park areas, they dispatched zoo keepers, zoo police and the DC Humane Rescue Alliance, but they had no luck catching the 25 pound cat before Wednesday.

Alex Sanguinettie had some worries about his Collie named Carla.

“Now that I know I will take some precautions with Carla. I mean I’m not going to leave and run away. This is our playground. We’ve come here every day for the last eight years,” he said.

Pets, joggers, walkers are all common in Northwest Washington. The zoo wanted to assure the public bobcats are not known to be aggressive towards people. Still, DC Public Schools administrators were not taking any chances; releasing a list of 13 schools where playing outside was not allowed until Ollie was captured. However, ABC7 News did notice students playing outside John Deal Elementary after the list was published. Its playground is surrounded by a tall fence.

The most recent high-profile escape here at the zoo was Rusty the red panda in 2013. He was found the next day in Adams Morgan.

Ben Busby found out about the district’s plans Monday night.

“My daughter goes to DC public schools, I’d rather her be outside, but I can understand,” Busby said. “I mean there’s liability, people sue each other every day blah, blah, blah. I can understand them keeping the kids inside when there’s a wild animal running around somewhere in neighborhood.”


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