ARLINGTON, Va. - One week after Ollie the bobcat was lost and then found at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, another bobcat has popped up in the D.C. region.
A Northern Virginia woman captured this bobcat on camera in her backyard, but wildlife experts said this one doesn't belong in the zoo. It lives in the wild – or in this case, the wooded areas of Arlington.
It turns out bobcats are native to the D.C. area, but they are very hard to see and even tougher to capture on camera. On Tuesday, local wildlife officials came back out this neighborhood in hopes of catching a glimpse of that elusive bobcat one more time.
“With enough camera angles, we may be able to tell if it is a male or female and it may tell us a little bit more about what it is doing,” said wildlife expert Alonso Abugattas.
He hiked through the woods in the backyard of a home in the Donaldson Run area after a bobcat was captured on video here for the first time in decades.
“We set up three different game cameras and we tried to do them at the juncture,” Abugattas said. “What we have done is put it at the juncture where there are a couple game trails and so hopefully we will catch it.”
These game cameras are now on the lookout, hoping to catch this wild cat in action for a second time.
“It was Saturday morning and I was sitting here emailing and my husband came in and he just decided to look out the window and he said, ‘Is that the bobcat?’” Evelyn Powers recalled.
They first thought they were looking at Ollie the bobcat, the social media star from the National Zoo who went missing but was found a couple of days later.
Powers grabbed her camera anyway and started recording. The footage gave a rare, close up view of this bobcat in the wild – about 20 feet from her window.
“I was saying, ‘Check it out! Oh my God! That is a bobcat!’” she said.
Powers then shared the video with her neighbors and it had everybody talking.
Experts said this video confirms their suspicions that bobcats do in fact live along the Potomac corridor. In the past, there have been other sightings as close as Falls Church, Great Falls and McLean.
“I feel that it is just really special and very exciting,” Powers said.
Meanwhile, she is just thrilled she was able to pull off this perfect shot that finally provides some proof.
“It will just add extra evidence that we now have bobcats in Arlington,” said Abugattas.
Wildlife experts said these bobcats mostly feed on small rodents and are extremely shy of both humans and pets. If you see one, keep your distance, don’t approach it and contact animal control.