Red panda climbs tree, briefly escapes open-air enclosure at San Diego Zoo
A red panda briefly escaped her open-air enclosure on Sunday — by climbing an adjacent tree — before zoo employees were able to lure her back to the habitat, a zoo spokesperson said.
The red panda was discovered out of her enclosure some time on Sunday by wildlife care specialists, San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance said in a statement.
“Wildlife care specialists found that a female red panda had climbed into a tree adjacent to her habitat in the Zoo’s Panda Canyon,” the statement said. After a short time, the zoo said, workers were able to “recall” the animal and “she climbed back into her habitat.”
While the panda was in the tree, zoo officials temporary closed the surrounding area to visitors. No injuries were reported.
“Red pandas spend most of the time in trees and are excellent climbers,” a spokesperson said in an email. “Wildlife care specialists found the red panda climbed a tree in its habitat and was able to climb into another tree adjacent to the habitat. This was around 9:30 a.m. It never left the area and remained in the tree.”
The red panda eventually climbed back into a tree in the habitat.
According to a September 2022 tweet by the Toronto Zoo, a red panda named Adira was being moved to the San Diego Zoo on a recommendation by the Red Panda Species Survival Plan. CBS8 reported that the animal that climbed the tree outside the enclosure was Adira.
San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance officials did not identify the red panda escapee by name, but a spokesperson confirmed Adira has been in San Diego since November. Red pandas are endangered and are native to the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China.
CBS8 reported that it took hours for the red panda to be lured out of the tree and back into the enclosure. According to CBS8, the zoo plans to trim the trees near the enclosure.
A zoo spokesperson said employees were “accessing the habitat” and could not immediately confirm that the trees are being trimmed.