Missing bobcat returns to Tennessee nature center enclosure


CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — A bobcat who police say was let loose from her enclosure at a Tennessee nature center has returned to her home, and a suspect accused of damaging her cage has been cited.

The Times Free Press reports the bobcat named Evi wandered back into her enclosure Monday. She had been missing from Chattanooga’s Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center for almost a week.

Nature Center President Mark McKnight says Evi had been spotted nearby on game cameras over the weekend, meaning she likely had not been stolen, as officials previously thought.

Bobcat (Chattanooga Nature Center/ WTVC)
Bobcat (Chattanooga Nature Center/ WTVC)

Authorities issued 21-year-old Cayden Melia a citation in lieu of an arrest on charges of criminal trespassing and vandalism. Investigators believe Melia is one of two suspects who tampered with her enclosure. It’s unclear if he had an attorney who could comment.

Information from: Chattanooga Times Free Press, http://www.timesfreepress.com

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