Panda who escaped from D.C. zoo is found

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WASHINGTON -- A Twitter photo and phone tip from a resident helped animal keepers track down a red panda in a Washington neighborhood Monday after it went missing from the Smithsonian's National Zoo.

Rusty was captured in a tree near a home in the Adams Morgan neighborhood Monday afternoon, said National Zoo spokeswoman Pamela Baker-Masson. He had traveled across the leafy Rock Creek Park, perhaps crossing a road or under a creek bridge to reach a residential area nearly 3/4 of a mile from the zoo.

Senior curator Brandie Smith said animal keepers surrounded the area where he was found and called Rusty's name to calm him before capturing him in a net.

"We just had to approach him carefully," she said.

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The animal was taken to the zoo's animal hospital for a checkup and will remain there for several days.

How Rusty escaped is still a mystery, though. Zoo officials began reviewing security footage Monday morning to see if there is any evidence of how he escaped or whether he may have been taken by a human and then set loose. -- AP

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