Fugitive red panda returned to Washington's National Zoo

June 24, 2013 at 3:31 PM

WASHINGTON, June 24 (UPI) -- The Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington said Rusty the red panda was found just south of the facility after being discovered missing Monday morning.

Zoo spokeswoman Pamela Baker-Masson said Rusty was noticed missing by zookeepers at 7:30 a.m. Monday and an intense search was launched that concluded when a passerby spotted the animal around 2 p.m. near 20th and Biltmore streets, just south of the zoo, The Washington Post reported Monday.

The zoo said it was not clear how Rusty escaped but he was seen inside his enclosure at 6 p.m. Sunday.

Baker-Masson said zookeepers noticed Rusty had not been eating normally during the past few days.

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