UPDATE: 11:43 PM EST
A red panda made a daring escape from a California zoo yesterday and is currently on the loose.
By daring, we mean it was probably exceedingly adorable.
The escape happened at the Sequoia Park Zoo in Eureka, CA.
From the Los Angeles Times:
“Masala, a young, furry female panda, escaped her grassy riparian habitat Thursday and was last seen in the forest behind the park, sparking an intense search effort in the area, zoo and city officials said.
The panda posed no danger to the public, but city officials advised anyone who sees the cat-sized animal not to approach it or try to capture it.”
Gretchen Ziegler, the zoo manager told The North Coast Journal that zoo employees were concerned for the safety of Masala.
“We have no idea how she got over the fence,” Ziegler told the North Coast Journal. “It’s contained red pandas since it was built. Animals can do things you can’t imagine. We’re going to try to figure it out.”
In a Facebook post late Friday morning, the zoo said that the local fire department was actively searching for the animal in the forest near the zoo and that she was seen around 3 AM local time near a Golf Course.”
If you live in the area and would like to volunteer to help find the panda, you can call Chelsa at the Foundation Office: 707-442-5649 x 203. The Zoo is planning to launch a large search party on Saturday morning.
WATCH: Red Pandas at Sequoia park zoo in 2010
Cover Photo Credit: Neil McIntosh/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)