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Thursday, 31st December 2015
In General Japan News,

Red panda returned to Shizuoka Zoo after escape attempt

A red panda that had make a break for freedom from Shizuoka Zoo has been returned to its enclosure after a large search.

Some 20 staff and 30 police dogs were included in the operation to track down the creature, known as Sumire today (December 31st).

Although she had been missing overnight, the red panda hadn’t got far and was found in a bamboo tree in the nearby area.

Advice from the zoo that was issued while the animal was on the loose was that anyone who encountered her shouldn’t try and catch her themselves.

Red pandas are not especially dangerous or violent creatures, but a scratch or bite can be nasty and could be the result of an untrained person trying to entice them back to their pen.

A spokesman for the zoo told Agence France-Press: “She was found high up on a bamboo tree in the backyard, munching on its leaves. Apples are her favourite food, though”.

Sumire’s adventure outside of the zoo was relatively short compared to other animal escapees that have been seen in Japan.

In 2012, a penguin managed to make its way out of an aquarium in Tokyo and remained at large for no fewer than 82 days before being returned to its home.

Red pandas, which look similar to racoons, are found in parts of China, Nepal, Bhutan and Burma in the wild.

They are categorised as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, due to habitat loss.

It is thought there are fewer than 10,000 adult red pandas left in the world.