POWELL, Ohio (WCMH) — The red panda who was discovered missing from her habitat at the Columbus Zoo during the morning hours of Wednesday was found safe and sound Thursday, the zoo announced.
Kora was found by two guests who spotted her on the ground in dense foliage between the rhino habitat and the entrance of the Pachyderm Building in the Zoo’s Asia Quest region.
As previously suspected by her care team members, she wasn’t far from her habitat and her cubs. The guests reported their sighting to team members at 4:43 p.m., who then called the Zoo’s Security and Animal Health teams.
The Columbus Zoo described the process of capturing Kora:
“As the team arrived to respond, Kora climbed high into a nearby tree. In an attempt to coax her down, the team brought her favorite treats and, when that did not work, they carefully brought out her vocalizing cubs. While she was attentive to their sounds and moved toward them, she remained in the tree just above the rooftop of the Pachyderm Building.
Because rain clouds were moving into the area and the team did not want to risk prolonging her return with evening approaching, the decision was made to tranquilize her. She was asleep just six minutes later and at 5:56 p.m., she fell 10 feet into the waiting net of the response team.
Kora was then placed in her crate and taken to the Zoo’s Animal Health Center for evaluation where she was provided care and given a clean bill of health.
Kora has since been returned to her habitat in Asia Quest, where she will have the opportunity to reunite with her cubs when she wakes. Her care team will continue their overnight watch to ensure they continue to do well, and red panda father, General Tso, will have the opportunity to join them in the morning.”