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.
Reunited at last! We are happy to report that Kora and her cubs were reunited this morning and all are doing well. Upon entering the den, Kora immediately began grooming her cubs, and the care team observed the cubs nursing shortly afterwards. General Tso, the male red panda and father of Kora’s cubs, also joined them again this afternoon. On the morning of Wednesday, July 22, Kora was discovered missing from her habitat. In her absence, Animal Care, Animal Health and Animal Nutrition teams collaborated to feed the cubs with a specialized formula to ensure they had full bellies and needed nutrients. Staff had been extensively searching for the female red panda, when she was spotted by two guests yesterday afternoon, who noticed her on the ground among dense foliage between the rhino habitat and the entrance of the Pachyderm Building in the Zoo’s Asia Quest region. Zoo team members immediately went into action to safely secure Kora. Kora was then taken to the Zoo’s Animal Health Center for evaluation, where she was provided care and given a clean bill of health. The Columbus Zoo once again thanks our community members for the wonderful outpouring of support!
Posted by Columbus Zoo and Aquarium on Friday, July 24, 2020
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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