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Ohio zoo searching for red panda after apparent escape

July 23 (UPI) -- The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Ohio said personnel are searching the grounds and surrounding area for a red panda that apparently escaped from her enclosure.

The zoo said the 2-year-old female red panda, Kora, was confirmed to be in her habitat Tuesday night, but was discovered missing Wednesday. Officials speculated the storms Tuesday night and Wednesday morning may have caused tree branches to bend, giving Kora a route for escape.

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The other animals in the Asia Quest area of the zoo have been temporarily moved from their habitats to an indoor area to allow zookeepers to conduct an extensive search for the missing animal.

Officials said Kora does not pose a danger to the public. They said keepers believe Kora might return on her own to care for her two young cubs, who are still nursing.

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