The Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s female bobcat, Ollie—who escaped Monday, Jan. 30, but was found yesterday, Feb. 1—received a medical exam this afternoon. She spent the night in the Zoo’s veterinary hospital under observation.
Veterinarians anesthetized Ollie and performed a complete physical examination, evaluated her body condition and administered a series of feline booster vaccines, including a rabies booster. Overall, Ollie appears to be in good health. Veterinarians placed two small dissolvable stitches in her front left paw where she sustained a cut. Per standard procedure, Ollie will remain at the hospital for a few days to ensure she does not show signs of respiratory illness.
The 25-pound bobcat likely climbed through a small opening in the mesh net that encloses her habitat on Monday morning. After an extensive search on Zoo property, the media and public were notified that Ollie was missing. By establishing a hotline, the Zoo team was able to respond to credible tips from the public, which led search teams throughout neighborhoods in northwest Washington through Wednesday morning. A quiet zone with Have-A-Heart traps was established around Ollie’s habitat on the chance that she would return to the area.
Late Wednesday afternoon, a Zoo visitor spotted Ollie on the public walkway near the Bird House’s flamingo exhibit and reported the sighting to a keeper nearby. A larger team of Zoo staff searched the area but did not see Ollie. Several traps were strategically set up around the area. Within 15 minutes, Ollie walked into one of the traps, and staff were able to safely secure her and transport her to the hospital.
For more information about the species, read the bobcat section of the Zoo’s website.
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Photo Credit: Ashley Goetz, Smithsonian's National Zoo