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Young bobcat found after escaping from northern Indiana zoo

Bobcat escapes from Washington Park Zoo

LATEST: Michigan City, Indiana, Police Department says Grace the bobcat was found safe about 9 p.m. May 30, 2024, near the Guy Foreman Bicentennial Amphitheater in Washington Park.

MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. (WISH) — A 9-month-old bobcat has escaped from the Washington Park Zoo, according to the Michigan City facility.

Zoo Director Jamie Huss says Grace is about the size of a large housecat. How the bobcat escaped, leaving her sister alone in their enclosure, was not yet determined as of Wednesday afternoon.

Huss said in a social media post shared Wednesday afternoon by the zoo, “Her prey would range from chipmunks to rabbits and smaller. We are concerned for her safety, and have continued to set live traps and trail cameras in hopes of a sighting and recapture.”

“Like coyotes and foxes, bobcats are native to this area,” Huss said in the social media post. “Due to her age and size, Grace will likely not be a threat to humans or most animals as long as she is left alone. Bobcats are quiet, secretive and active from dusk to night; and as with all wildlife, the natural response of a bobcat is to move away from humans.”

Grace and her sister Hazel arrived at the northern Indiana zoo in December. They’ve been in a habitat designed for their species since April. The escape was discovered Wednesday morning.

Anyone who finds the bobcat was asked not to try to capture her. Instead, call the Michigan City Police Department’s nonemergency number, 219-874-3221.

Michigan City sits on Lake Michigan about halfway between Gary and South Bend.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources’ website says bobcats are the only resident native wild cat in the state, commonly found in southern and parts of central Indiana, and increasing in northern Indiana. They are rarely seen because of their ability to blend into their surroundings and move silently.