Ollie the bobcat found safe at National Zoo

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National Zoo officials say Ollie the bobcat has been found safely on zoo property Wednesday afternoon.

The escaped bobcat went missing from her enclosure on Monday.

Craig Saffoe, the National Zoo's curator of great cats, said Ollie was found thanks to a visitor who reported to zoo staff that the missing bobcat was seen crossing a walkway at the zoo's bird house.

As a result of the tip, Saffoe said the zoo staff then took live traps to the bird house.

"Set them, crossed our fingers, walked away and literally within 15 minutes, the bird house keepers called us back and told us we have a bobcat in the trap up here," Saffoe said.

The traps used to capture the 25-pound bobcat involved leaving "goodies" for her.

"She was watching us and waiting for us to walk away," said Saffoe. "She never came out to say 'Hi' while we were standing there. She was just waiting to see what kind of goodies we left for her. She came in, she ate a couple of goodies and she left a lot of goodies sitting in the crate, so she wasn't starving."

They took Ollie to the zoo's vet hospital and she was identified through a transponder chip.

"She's doing well right now," said Brandie Smith, the zoo's associate director of animal care. "The only effect from her adventure in the zoo was she has a small cut on her left front paw."

Smith said the cut did not need treatment and the 7-year-old bobcat will undergo a full examination Thursday morning.

Zoo officials said Ollie is believed to have escaped from a hole in the mesh netting at her enclosure at the exhibit she shares with two other male bobcats. The exhibit was closed to visitors after Ollie's escape.

"Did she escape because she wanted to be free? Well, I don't know," said Saffoe. "I think she wanted to go out and have a little bit of fun, see what it was like on the outside ... and she came right back into the trap."

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