This story has been updated.
Ollie, a bobcat at the National Zoo who went missing Monday morning, was captured late Wednesday afternoon near the zoo’s bird house, zoo officials said.
“We found her thanks to a tip from a visitor,” great cats curator Craig Saffoe said at a news conference Wednesday evening.
Saffoe said that after receiving the tip, he and a zookeeper set live traps near the bird house and within 15 minutes had captured Ollie.
“She is doing well right now,” said Brandie Smith, associate director for animal care sciences. “The only effect from her adventure at the zoo is that she has a small cut on her left front paw.”
Ollie, who is nearly 7 years old, was resting in the zoo’s vet hospital Wednesday night and was scheduled for full checkup Thursday morning.
When asked how far from the zoo Ollie had wandered, Saffoe said probably a mile or two. Several people in the Woodley Park and Cleveland Park neighborhoods reported spotting the cat in the past two days.
“She didn’t go too far, which is really reassuring to us,” Saffoe said. “I think she wanted to go out and have a little bit of fun. See what it was like on the outside and [then] ‘I think I’m ready to come back inside now.’ ”
The adventure started Monday morning, when Ollie didn’t show up for breakfast at around 10:40 a.m. A zookeeper had seen her inside her mesh enclosure around 7:30 a.m. An initial search of the zoo was unsuccessful, so officials alerted the media and the public. People were encouraged to not approach the animal but to call the zoo if they spotted the feline, who looks like a 25-pound version of a household cat but with a bobbed tail. Bobcats are not known to be aggressive to people and typically will hide when humans are around.
On Tuesday, zookeepers and members of the D.C. Humane Rescue Alliance began looking in nearby neighborhoods. By the next morning, Ollie was still missing and zoo officials announced that they were suspending the search.
A couple of hours later, the cat came back.
Saffoe said he was “over-the-moon thrilled” to have Ollie home.
The zoo’s three bobcats — Ollie and two males, Yoda and Cheeze — won’t be back in their enclosure right away. Ollie escaped through a 5-by-5-inch hole in the enclosure’s mesh netting, the zoo said.
“We’re in no rush to get the animals back on exhibit,” Smith said. “We’re going to look at this and we’re going to review it, and then we’ll make decisions and changes so that this doesn’t happen.”