Escaped red panda to be home for Christmas

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

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.