US REGIONS

Officials search DC neighborhoods for escaped bobcat as schools take precautions

Bobcats are not known to be aggressive to humans, according to experts.

Bobcats are not known to be aggressive to humans, according to experts.  (National Zoo)

National Zoo officials say they're searching nearby neighborhoods in Washington for a bobcat who escaped from her enclosure.

The zoo announced Tuesday that a team of keepers, police and DC Humane Rescue Alliance members is searching the area after officials received calls overnight reporting that the bobcat may be in adjacent neighborhoods. Media outlets report that 13 area public schools are on alert status and won't have outdoor recess.

Officials say the bobcat known as Ollie, who was reported missing Monday, poses no threat to humans. Officials believe the 25-pound bobcat likely climbed through an opening in the mesh that encloses her habitat.

Bobcats look a lot like house cats, only bigger and with short, stubby tails. They are native to North America, including the mid-Atlantic region.