Baby Bobcat Escapes from Local Zoo, Search Underway

Baby Bobcat Escapes from Local Zoo, Search Underway

MICHIGAN CITY, IN — Grace, a nine-month-old bobcat residing at the Washington Park Zoo along with her sister Hazel, has recently escaped from the park. The young bobcats have been a part of the zoo since December and were housed in a specially designed habitat for their species beginning in April.

On Wednesday morning, zoo staff realized that Grace was missing from the enclosure, leaving Hazel by herself. This discovery prompted immediate action from the zoo. To find Grace, they have now set up live traps and trail cameras around the area. They are also asking people in the community to keep an eye out for the missing bobcat.

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Grace is about the size of a large house cat. Zoo officials are advising people not to try to catch her if they see her. Instead, they should keep their distance and contact the authorities.

Important Safety Tips for Residents:

Rachelle Marshmen, founder of Rescue Release Repeat, offered advice on what to do if someone encounters the escaped bobcat:

“The first thing that you want to do is stay calm you don’t wanna panic. You don’t wanna freak out. The calmer you are the calmer it is,” Marshmen emphasized.

She also warned against making any sudden moves. People should try to move away from the bobcat quickly and calmly without turning their back on it. “You wanna avoid eye contact because with wild animals, if you maintain eye contact they can perceive that as a threat so it’s always best to avoid eye contact if you can,” Marshmen explained.

Image Source Credit via YouTube

If you find yourself at a safe distance, you should call the Michigan City Police Department’s non-emergency lines, DNR, or the zoo.

Although Grace’s usual diet includes smaller animals like chipmunks and rabbits, officials do not consider her a high-risk threat. However, they advise people to be cautious, especially when letting pets outside or when children are playing outdoors.

“It’s still a baby so we’re not talking about a wild animal who hasn’t eaten in a long time, who hasn’t interacted with humans to some capacity, but it’s always best to be safe at the end of day. You don’t know how a wild animal’s going to react,” Marshmen noted.

The zoo is actively working to bring Grace back safely and to ensure the safety of the community.

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