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Escaped Bobcat Found in D.C. Not Long After Officials Gave Up Looking

Ollie was free for a couple days though.

Update: Ollie has been found on zoo property a few hours after officials said they were suspending their search. The headline to this story has been changed to reflect this. The original story is below.

When Ollie, a seven-year-old female bobcat housed at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, D.C. escaped on Monday, there was some alarm.

Bobcats are not known to be aggressive to humans, but 13 nearby schools opted not to let children outdoors for recess anyway. Residents, meanwhile, spotted Ollie all across D.C.’s Cleveland Park and Woodley Park neighborhoods, but searchers could never quite catch up to the bobcat, which are known for their evasiveness. 

So on Wednesday, officials said they were giving up, suspending the search because, they said, Ollie’s too good at hiding.

Zookeepers had initially issued a “Code Green” after Ollie had been found missing from her enclosure Monday morning, which alerted staff that an animal was out of containment but also signaled that there was no immediate danger.

“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,” said Craig Saffoe, the zoo’s curator for big cats, according to the Washington Post.

Ollie lived with two male bobcats at the zoo, and it’s fair to say that—like any other being who has lived with two men for any stretch of time—she might’ve just wanted out.