CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — Neighbors are reacting after a nature center’s missing bobcat is believed to be in the Lookout Mountain area.
Missy Luce and her family live near the Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center.
She likes having a home out here.
“It is so peaceful and quiet and there is not a lot of traffic. But there is also a main attraction for the city at the end of the street, so it doesn’t feel as secluded as it might way out in another county,” Luce said.
Earlier this week, leaders with the nature center say someone broke into Evi the bobcat’s enclosure and took her.
“That sounded like high maintenance contraband and I don’t know why someone would do that,” Luce said.
Other neighbors were also shocked.
“I hope the bobcat got revenge on those that tried to steal him. But I can’t imagine anyone trying to steal a bobcat, but people will do anything nowadays,” said John Lively, a neighbor.
According to the nature center they now believe young people paddled in from Lookout Creek, trespassed on their property and then broke into the boardwalk and native animal area.
They think the bobcat got away from the trespassers and is in the forest in the lookout mountain area.
“I’m surprised it has taken this long that it still hasn’t been found, but we are exercising a little bit of vigilance, but we don’t feel that afraid, we just maybe won’t go on a hike today,” Luce said.
“I’m not concerned. I think it is domesticated enough,” Lively said.
Luce is keeping an eye on her dog.
“In the evening we take her out on a leash, we don’t let her roam out in the yard right now,” she said.
She and her kids are staying on their property, while the search continues for the bobcat.
“It would be nice to go out in this weather because it is so beautiful, but I think we will stick around the house,” Luce said.