Chattanooga nature center believes bobcat escaped from trespassers

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — The director of a Chattanooga nature center now believes the missing bobcat fought back against the people who took her, and escaped.

Managers at Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center say it happened Monday night.

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They think young people paddled in from Lookout Creek, trespassed on their property and then broke into the boardwalk and native animal area.

Tish Gailmard, the director of wildlife at the center, says the trespassers went into a bald eagle’s enclosure before going into Evi the bobcat’s home.

People with the center think she escaped before she could be stolen.



“The animals that we have here in our facility are permanently injured. They can not survive in the forest. We are their safe haven. Bobcats are elusive. They are common in our forest, but they are elusive,” Gailmard said.

Federal law enforcement is now working the case alongside TWRA.