• Bobcat missing from Chattanooga nature center returns to park

    By: Bob D'Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -

    A bobcat that had been missing for nearly a week from its enclosure at a Tennessee nature center has returned home, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reported.

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    Evi wandered back to the Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center just before 11 a.m. Monday, officials with the center wrote on its website.

    Update 8:02 p.m. EDT June 17: A 21-year-old man who allegedly let a bobcat loose from the Riding Arboretum and Nature Center in Tennessee last week was charged Monday afternoon, hours after the animal returned home, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reported.

    Cayden Melia was issued a citation by Chattanooga police n lieu of an arrest for criminal trespassing and vandalism, the newspaper reported.

    Original report: The bobcat had been spotted on the slopes of Lookout Mountain on cameras, traveling between the nature center and property belonging to the National Park Service, nature center President Mark McKnight told the Times Free Press.

    Evi's handler, Taylor Berry, began searching for her near Lookout Mountain early Friday, WRCB reported.

    The bobcat was released from the nature center last week by unidentified trespassers, the Times Free Press reported.

    Officials at the nature center said they are working with local police, the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to find the people who let Evi out of the compound.

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