Escaped red panda to be home for Christmas

Adrian the red panda, who disappeared from Kristiansand's Animal Park recently, has been found safe and sound in a tree in a city suburb and will be home in time for Christmas.

Escaped red panda to be home for Christmas
A red panda similar Dyreparken's Adrian. Photo: Mathias Appel/Flickr

The arboreal mammal, who is slightly larger than a domestic cat, sparked a search when he escaped from Kristiansand's Dyrehaven last Thursday by climbing a tree near to the park's fence. Staff from the park have been out looking for the animal every day since.

Adrian was close to being recovered on Monday when a pedestrian reported spotting him cross the E18 highway in the vicinity of the park, according to a report by state broadcaster NRK.

However, despite a search being mobilized in the area, Adrian remained at large.

Then, on Tuesday night, a local veterinarian alerted the park to Adrian's having been spotted in the Lausen residential area, reports NRK.

This tip led Dyreparken staff to move their search to the neighborhood, where the furry red omnivore was eventually tracked down at the top of a tree.

It's great that he'll be home for Christmas,” zookeeper Helene Axelsen told NRK. “There's not an awful lot for pandas to eat in the Norwegian environment. The caller told us that he looked confused and was running around looking for food.

It's such a relief to get him home. Especially in good condition. He was really hungry and worn out, so it's good to see that he is [now] getting something to eat and is doing well given the circumstances,” Axelsen said.

The red panda weighs around five kilograms, making it much smaller than its black and white namesake. Its thick coat enables it to survive the Norwegian winter, on a usual diet of buds, insects and sometimes mice.

Adrian left a fellow red panda, Pandora, behind at Dyreparken during his five-day Kristiansand sojourn.


Norway and Canada club together on EU seal ban

Norway and Canada have asked the World Trade Organization to form a group of experts to look at the European Union's ban on seal products, which the two countries oppose.

Norway and Canada club together on EU seal ban
A seal basks in the sunshine in the Svalbard archipelago (File photo: Håkon Mosvold Larsen/Scanpix)

"Norway, like Canada, believes that the EU's regulations are without foundation," said the Norwegian fishing ministry statement issued Monday evening.

"The population of seals hunted by Norwegian professionals is not threatened and the Norwegian hunt is carried out in a controlled and ethical manner which guarantees the well-being of the animals," the statement added.

Since 2010 the EU had banned trade in products derived from seals apart from the non-profit sales of products that come from the traditional hunting carried out by the Inuit indigenous people.

The European Union position is that the methods of hunting used are cruel: they involve the use of a hakapik, a club with a metal spike on it, to stun the seals before they are killed.

Critics of the hunts say that some seals are skinned while they are still conscious.

Canada and Norway, which every year kill tens of thousands of seals, insist that the hunting method is not cruel.

Norwegian officials say it would take about a year for a WTO panel of experts to examine the question.