At the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, a red panda last seen on Tuesday evening, is missing. Staff members have been searching the area in and around the dense vegetation throughout the zoo.
According to a statement posted on the organization’s Facebook post,
” On Wednesday, July 22, a red panda was discovered missing from her habitat at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. A small, non-threatening mammal about the size of a raccoon, the nocturnal animal was last seen the evening of Tuesday, July 21, in her Asia Quest habitat.”
There have been no sightings of the animal and security cameras are being monitored and reviewed.
“Animal Care staff have been conducting an extensive search in the dense vegetation in and around the animal’s habitat and throughout the Zoo. As an added precaution, other animals living nearby in Asia Quest habitats have been brought indoors so their habitats can be thoroughly searched.”
The missing panda has two cubs still nursing, and will be fed with a specialized formula if needed. The staff believes she will return on her own to care for her cubs.
“Red pandas are excellent climbers and live in trees. They use natural shelters like tree hollows to den and sleep during the day. As there were strong storms overnight, team members searched the habitat to determine whether any tree branches were bent or broken, leading to the public pathways. One area of branches slightly sagging due to rainwater was trimmed back as an added precaution to ensure that the male panda safely remains within the habitat.”
If anyone spots the small 19-pound red mammal, with a long, fluffy red striped tail, please call the zoo. Contact the Columbus Zoo immediately at the Security Dispatch number: 614-582-1844. It is best to not approach the red panda, as they are naturally shy and elusive, and we do not want to frighten her.
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