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Juvenile Bobcat Found Near Eugene School Released Back Into Wild

<p>A bobcat climbs a tree in the Grand Cote National Wildlife Refuge in Louisiana.</p>

A bobcat climbs a tree in the Grand Cote National Wildlife Refuge in Louisiana.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) announced Friday that a juvenile bobcat found outside of a Eugene-area school has been released back into the wild.

The male bobcat was found Thursday outside of Oak Hill School, a K-12 private school near Lane Community College.

School staff trapped the animal and ODFW evaluated it, finding it was healthy enough and exhibiting normal behavior, so it could be released back into the wild.

The bobcat was estimated to be at least 6 months old. It was released in forested Bureau of Land Management land in Lane County.

“This bobcat is in the age range when bobcats naturally strike out on their own,” Dr. Julia Burco with ODFW said in a news release.

Another bobcat, thought to be a sibling, was euthanized a day prior, after it had wandered inside the same school when students and staff were present.

ODFW said it’s unknown whether the two bobcats were orphaned, abandoned or just at the age when they would naturally stray from their mother.

Copyright 2019 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Meerah Powell is a general assignment and breaking news reporter for OPB. She previously worked as a news reporter and podcast producer for Eugene Weekly in her hometown of Eugene, Oregon. Along with writing and audio work, Meerah also has experience with photography and videography. She graduated from the University of Oregon's School of Journalism and Communication.