What’s small and furry and will remain in Virginia for the near future? Rusty, the National Zoo’s adorable red panda, who’s lived at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal since last year. The District sorely misses its favorite escape artist.
Our curiosity was then piqued when news surfaced about Masala—a red panda housed at the Sequoia Park Zoo in California—being rescued Saturday night after having escaped from officials Thursday. Our thoughts naturally turned to Rusty, but National Zoo spokesperson Jen Zoon tells City Desk that “there are no plans to move [him] right now,” since the little guy is participating in a survival plan to increase his chances of breeding. “Construction on the [zoo’s] red panda retreat began the first week of November 2015 and is expected to last several months,” Zoon adds.
Oh well; it was worth asking. Besides, giant panda cub Bei Bei will be on display starting in January. Eee!
Photo by Janice Sveda/Smithsonian’s National Zoo