Published July 17, 2012
MONROE, Wash. – A bobcat wandered onto the grounds of Washington state's largest prison and climbed onto a roof, where it was shot with a tranquilizer gun Tuesday, officials said.
The animal was being treated for cuts it apparently suffered from some razor-wire fencing at the Monroe Correctional Complex, about 30 miles northeast of Seattle, prison spokeswoman Susan Biller said. It will be released back into the wild.
"Yeah, I'd call it weird," she said. "We need to assess how he even got in."
But she doesn't think it's a security risk.
"Bobcats can jump and do things I don't think a human can," she said. "The fencing is designed to keep people in, not cats out."
The Monroe prison is the state's largest, with about 2,500 inmates and five units with varying security levels. Biller doesn't know what attracted the animal to the facility, which has some wooded areas nearby. Raccoons have been seen outside the fence, but no other wild animals are known to have made it inside, Corrections Lt. Jose Briones said.
Corrections officers noticed the bobcat at about 11:30 p.m. Monday during a perimeter check. The startled animal ran through the razor-wire perimeter fence and made its way to the rooftop of the special offenders unit, the Department of Corrections said in a statement.
Prison staff called veterinarian Roger Hancock, who sedated the animal with a tranquilizer gun. The bobcat was treated at the Pilchuck Veterinary Hospital in Snohomish.