Ollie the bobcat returned to the National Zoo late Wednesday afternoon after she went missing from the property Monday morning, but appeared to be fine.
The 25-pound bobcat had a cut on her left front paw but appeared to be OK, zoo officials told The Washington Post. The animal was spotted near the zoo's Bird House at about 4 p.m. Wednesday by a zoo visitor, who alerted staff.
Ollie was captured after zoo staffers set up a baited trap, Craig Saffoe, curator of the great cats exhibit at the National Zoo, told the Post. Officials said the bobcat will be tested for diseases she may have picked up while in the wild.
CNN reported that zookeepers, zoo police and the D.C. Humane Rescue Alliance came up empty handed after looking for the big cat around the city for two days. The group had called off the search when they received information that Ollie had returned to zoo property on her own.
Saffoe told CNN that it appeared that Ollie had her fling with freedom and was ready see familiar faces again.
"She ate a couple of goodies (at the trap) and left a lot of goodies sitting in the crate," Saffoe said, according to CNN. "She was ready to come home. When you find a member of your family, or somebody who's been missing, it kind of fills you with joy, with crazy joy."
Zoo officials told The Washington Post that they think Ollie climbed out of her enclosure, near Rock Creek Park, through a small opening in a mesh net around her area. Zookeepers found one piece of the mesh that had broken, measuring about 5-by-5 inches, noted CNN.
During the search, the zoo fielded several calls about possible sightings of Ollie in a residential area near the zoo, Reuters reported. Zoo officials had warned people against approaching Ollie even though bobcats are not known to be aggressive to humans.
According to National Geographic, bobcats are elusive and nocturnal, and can adapt to diverse habitats, from forests, swamps, deserts, and suburban areas. They often fed on rabbits, birds, mice, squirrels, and other smaller game, stated National Geographic.
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