The search is on for a red panda that escaped a French zoo

Weird

This photo released by Saint-Martin-la-Plaine zoo shows the red panda that broke out of a zoo in the Rhone region of southeastern France, Friday, Nov. 15, 2019. The park said the panda escaped last Friday by climbing branches broken by snowfall and swinging from tree to tree. Officials said the panda, a cat-sized nocturnal animal with reddish fur and a shaggy tail, would probably be spotted in a tree. (AP Photo/Saint-Martin-la-Plaine zoo)

PARIS (AP) — A search is on for a red panda that broke out of a zoo in the Rhone region of southeastern France.

Officials at the Saint-Martin-la-Plaine Zoo said the endangered animal was last seen 5 kilometers (3 miles) from the park by a surprised motorist. The park said the panda escaped last Friday by climbing up branches broken by snowfall and swinging from tree to tree.

The panda, a cat-sized nocturnal animal with reddish fur and a shaggy tail, would probably spend “a good part of the day sleeping in a tree.” The zoo advised residents to keep a look out “at the top of the trees.”

Zoo veterinarian Jean-Christophe Gerard said the animal “has good claws and good teeth” and shouldn’t be hugged, although it isn’t considered dangerous.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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