Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Red panda escapes from Isle of Man wildlife park

Red Panda Image copyright Stock photo
Image caption Red pandas are classified as endangered

People on the Isle of Man have been asked to keep their "eyes peeled" for a red panda which has escaped from a wildlife park.

"Kush" broke out of the Curraghs in the north of the island when a tree fell across his enclosure on Wednesday.

The animal is slightly larger than a domestic cat but staff have said not to approach as it could strike out.

The park said red pandas are "very good at hiding" and finding him was like looking for "a needle in a haystack".

A live trap has been set and a drone is also being used to locate the animal.

The lesser panda?

Image copyright Virginia Zoo
  • Slightly longer than an average domestic cat at about 20-26in (50-66cm)
  • Reddish-brown in colour with a black underside and legs, white markings on their face and ears and a long tail.
  • Primarily eat bamboo shoots and leaf tips but will also eat fallen fruit, insects and eggs.
  • Red pandas are predominantly active during twilight hours
  • Despite the name, the red panda is not closely related to the giant panda.
  • They are known for escaping and have broken free from zoos across the world

There was a sighting of the escaped panda near the A3 on Thursday but he has since "vanished", said the wildlife park.

Staff initially hoped Kush would return to the enclosure on his own accord but there has been no sign of him doing so.

Park manager Kathleen Graham said red pandas are "very hardy" but added that she was very "concerned" about locating the missing animal.

The species is classified as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List.

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