The National Zoo in Washington, DC is missing a red panda. The wild red panda was last seen Sunday night and zookeepers couldn’t seem to locate it Monday. After what had to be a lengthy search, the zoo announced on Twitter that the panda is missing (or it could have been taken) and the zoo needs the public’s assistance.
“We are looking for a missing red panda, a male named Rusty. He was last seen at 6 p.m. last night,” tweeted the National Zoo from the official Twitter account. “Animal care staff have been combing the trees around the Zoo since 8 a.m. He could be sick & hiding, or someone could have taken him.”
With it being so odd that an animal is missing from an institution, the Washington Post has confirmed the animal is missing and that the situation is not a hoax. When first acknowledging the animal was missing, the zoo sounded a “Code Green” and the zoo was temporarily closed as employees reviewed every inch of the area.
Rusty is relatively new to the zoo, arriving in late April from Nebraska. Brought in to breed, the animal has only been in an exhibit for about three weeks. As the search continues, everyone is hoping the panda will be found safe and unharmed.
The National Zoo has promised updates about the situation on Facebook and Twitter, but so far no word on Rusty’s recovery. Hopefully someone will locate the red panda soon.