Rusty the Red Panda Is Missing from the National Zoo

Esther Zuckerman
Rusty the Red Panda Is Missing from the National Zoo

The National Zoo tweeted this morning that a Red Panda who goes by Rusty was last seen around 6 p.m. last night, and zoo staff have apparently been searching trees around the zoo since 8 a.m. this morning, without success. The zoo further explained that Rusty "could be sick & hiding, or someone could have taken him" in one tweet, and while that last possibility seems grim, later tweets seemed to hope for the best.

Rusty is a relatively new addition to the zoo. The zoo announced that Rusty joined the habitat in a blog post on June 10. He will turn one year old next month, and was brought to the zoo to breed with their red panda named Shama. Their relationship was going well: "On the second day keepers saw the pair sharing space and even spied Shama grooming Rusty—a sign that this duo is doing well already." 

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Because Twitter is just that type of place, a bunch of people thought to make Edward Snowden jokes: 

But all joking aside, the zoo's Twitter account cautioned that if you are the person who happens to find Rusty you should just call the zoo rather than approach.