Missing red panda found safe in Columbus Zoo

POWELL, Ohio (AP) — A red panda that disappeared from its habitat at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium “is home safe and sound” after it needed to be tranquilized in a tree, the zoo said.

Two visitors on Thursday spotted Kora on the ground among dense foliage between the rhino habitat and the pachyderm building, the zoo said on Facebook. The small nocturnal mammal, which is about the size of a raccoon, was last seen nearby in her Asia Quest habitat on Tuesday evening.

Kora climbed up a tree as members of the zoo’s security and health team watched.

“In attempt to coax her down, the team brought her favorite treats and, when that did not work, they carefully brought out her vocalizing cubs. While she was attentive to their sounds and moved toward them, she remained in the tree,” the zoo said.

Officials feared an approaching storm so they made the decision to tranquilize the red panda, which fell 10 feet into a net.

Kora was evaluated by a health team and “given a clean bill of health.”

The zoo said she will be reunited with her cubs and the cubs’ father, General Tso.

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