WELLINGTON, New Zealand – A red panda, which ran for two days after escaping from an Australian zoo, was seen hanging from a fig tree in a nearby park on Sunday.
Ravi, a 7-year-old panda, had arrived at the Adelaide Zoo last week after being brought from another zoo in hopes of mating with a female red panda named Mishri. But by Friday Ravi was gone.
Adelaide Zoo director Phil Ainsley told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that zookeepers spent Sunday trying to entice Ravi to a fig tree with some of their favorite foods, including bamboo and sweetcorn.
Finally he fired a tranquilizer dart.
“We used a couple of different dart devices, eventually we put a dart in it and then we had to wait about 15 minutes for the drug to kick in,” Ainsley said.
Ravi then fell on the blankets of the zookeepers waiting under the tree.
“The Sun is doing great,” Ainsley told the station. “Settling down in an animal health hospital, where he will spend the next two or three days after escaping. I just want to make sure that he stays healthy and recovers from his adventure.”
Ainsley said he found that Ravi had fled his enclosure on Friday morning and initially turned his attention to the zoo, thinking he would be in one of the large trees there. By Sunday morning a zookeeper spotted it on a fig tree in a nearby botanical garden.
Ainsley told the station that they would review the zoo’s CCTV footage to find out how Ravi escaped.
“He had clearly just arrived and was testing his enclosure,” Ainsley said. “We know that red pandas are incredibly agile and are known to be escapists.”
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