Sunny the Red Panda Missing from Virginia Zoo, Staff Asking for Help in Recovery

Keepers believe Sunny the red panda is still on the grounds, but are asking locals to keep an eye out for the animal

Sunny. Photo: The Virginia Zoo/Twitter

The Virginia Zoo is asking locals to be vigilant.

Sunny the red panda went missing from her exhibit at the Norfolk, Virginia, zoo on Tuesday. Currently, the animal is still at large.

According to USA Today, the Norfolk Police Department is helping with the search, using geothermal cameras to scour the zoo grounds.

Keepers last saw Sunny on Monday at 5 p.m.; the 19-month-old red panda was reported missing at the morning check on Tuesday.

The Virginia Zoo believes that Sunny is still somewhere on the property, but has asked locals near the zoo to keep an eye out for the escapee.

“Sunny, one of our Red pandas, is missing from her habitat. Please call/text our hotline @ 777-7899 w helpful info,” the zoo Tweeted out along with a photo of Sunny.

While red pandas are not naturally aggressive animals, the zoo asks anyone who comes across Sunny not to attempt to capture the animal themselves.

Sunny is the third panda to escape from an American zoo in the past five years. Rusty sneaked out of the National Zoo in 2013, and spent one day roaming Washington, D.C., before he was safely returned. There was also Masala, who slipped out of her exhibit at the Sequoia Park Zoo in 2015 and was only on the lam for a few hours.

Related Articles