The Blandford Nature Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan, has been cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a bobcat that escaped from the facility.
Blandford Nature Center holds a sibling pair of bobcats named Apollo and Aremis. On Dec. 17, 2021, Artemis escaped from her enclosure at Blandford Nature Center. Artemis was recaptured in a live trap two days later and was returned to her enclosure.
The USDA cited Blandford Nature Center on Dec. 22 for failing to contain Artemis and gave the facility until Jan. 22 to correct the violation.
On Dec. 29, Artemis escaped from her enclosure for the second time. The facility has since moved their remaining bobcat to the John Ball Zoo while their bobcat enclosure undergoes reinforcements.
Artemis has been on the loose for more than a month. Blandford Nature Center has set up live traps with food inside to capture Artemis but she has not entered one of the traps.
“She has been seen on trail cameras at Blandford, so we know she has not traveled far,” Blandford Nature Center posted on social media on Jan. 25.
The facility answered a number of questions about the bobcats on their Facebook page. Blandford Nature Center said Artemis and Apollo were found as cubs shortly after their mother had died and a wildlife rehabilitator determined they would not be able to survive on their own if they were released.
"Artemis' natural instincts appear to have kicked in during this situation and she is surviving," Blandford Nature Center said. "It may turn out that Artemis doesn't get hungry enough to be trapped and makes Blandford part of her territory, but urban areas are not ideal for bobcats due to traffic and other human activity. Apollo cannot be released because he has not been in the same situation, and we do not know if he would be able to survive on his own. For their safety, we will continue our efforts."
Dec. 2021 Blandford Nature Center USDA Inspection Report: