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Fugitive Bobcat Discovered On National Zoo Property

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK, we have a very important update now on a furry fugitive who's been on the prowl this week.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

CRAIG SAFFOE: We're just over the moon happy to tell you guys that we have found, captured and we have Ollie the bobcat back in - at home at the zoo.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

That's Craig Saffoe. He's the curator of Great Cats at the Smithsonian National Zoo here in Washington.

GREENE: That's a thing. That is a job (laughter).

MARTIN: That's a thing. Ollie missed breakfast Monday morning, and the zoo has been searching for her ever since.

GREENE: Earlier this week, let's remember, some local schools canceled recess out of concern about this missing bobcat, though the zoo said the bobcat, just 25 pounds, was not a danger to people. Yesterday, officials called off the entire search. But then hours later, they got a tip from a visitor that Ollie might not have gone very far.

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SAFFOE: We took the traps, live traps, up to the Bird House and 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.

MARTIN: Yep, the Bird House. The nation's capital at her fingertips, a wide world to explore, Ollie the bobcat made her way to check out the birds at the zoo - maybe in need of an afternoon snack.

GREENE: Yeah. Zoo officials do say Ollie got through this adventure safely with just a little scratch on her left front paw. Saffoe says she might have left to explore the creek near the zoo, but as for why she escaped...

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SAFFOE: Did she escape because she wanted to be free? Well, I think she wanted to go out, have a little bit of fun, see what it was like on the outside - I think I'm ready to come back inside now - and she came right back into the trap.

MARTIN: He says Ollie will soon be reunited with the zoo's other bobcats, and, oh, the story she will tell.

(SOUNDBITE OF LUSRICA'S "LAUGHTER IN THE RAIN") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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