Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 9 December 2019

Endangered red panda uses snow to escape from zoo in France

The Panda scaled branches broken by recent snowfall

A red panda has taken advantage of damage caused in a recent snowfall to escape from a zoo in France. EPA/ANTONIO BAT
A red panda has taken advantage of damage caused in a recent snowfall to escape from a zoo in France. EPA/ANTONIO BAT

An endangered red panda has escaped from a zoo in France.

Staff at St-Martin-la-Plaine zoo near Lyon said branches that had been broken by recent snowfall in the area helped the animal escape.

The incident happened over night on November 14 and 15.

In a Facebook post the zoo said: "The important snowfall broke many branches in the park. One of our little pandas has been able to pass from tree to tree and get out of the enclosure.

"The red panda is a mainly night animal, so it spends a good part of its day sleeping in a tree. He is an outstanding climber who is not afraid of altitude, do not hesitate to look up the trees!"

Reports say the three-year-old male was last sighted 5km from the park near Saint-Maurice-Sur-Dargoire.

The public has been warned not to try and catch the panda themselves.

The zoo added: "Don't try to catch him, because, even if it's a little harmless animal with plush looks, it has good claws and good teeth!"

The zoo had been forced to close for a number of days due to the damage it sustained following the recent snow.

Red pandas are native to the forests of the Himalayas.

Updated: November 21, 2019 07:11 PM

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