Red Panda, Who Recently Gave Birth to Cubs, Missing from Ohio Zoo
The animal was last seen Tuesday in her Asia Quest habitat
A red panda has gone missing from her habitat at Ohio's Columbus Zoo.
On Wednesday, the zoo shared that the nocturnal animal was discovered missing from her Asia Quest habitat, where she was last seen Tuesday evening, via a Facebook post.
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium described the panda as a "small, non-threatening mammal about the size of a raccoon" and explained that while she does not present a threat to the public, the zoo is "eager" to have her back.
The Facebook post also included a picture of the animal. featuring her prominent fluffy striped tail and red coloring.
The zoo's animal care staff has been conducting a search for the panda in the vegetation around her habitat and throughout the zoo, according to the post.
The other animals who live in the Asia Quest habitat have been moved indoors so that the staff may properly search the area.
According to the zoo, red pandas are skilled climbers and are typically found in trees. The mammal uses natural shelters like tree hollows to rest during the day.
Zoo staff noted that the panda will most likely be found in a tree.
Members of the animal care team are also watching footage from the den camera and other security cameras to obtain further evidence about the panda's disappearance.
Currently, the zoo does not have any leads as to how or where the panda escaped.
As a newly minted mother of two cubs, the zoo believes that the panda will return on her own to take care of her young.
In her absence, the zoo is prepared with a "specialized formula" to feed the cubs, who are still nursing.
Zoo staff will also be setting up an overnight watch to observe the area for any panda sightings.
The staff asks that anybody who spots the animal not to approach her as the species is naturally shy.
The zoo recently reopened to the public on a limited basis in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Anyone with information on the panda's whereabouts should immediately contact the Columbus Zoo at the Security Dispatch number at 614-582-1844.