Red Panda Escapes From Ohio Zoo After Giving Birth To Cubs

(Photo by Koichi Kamoshida/Getty Images)

Katie Jerkovich Entertainment Reporter
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The hunt is on for a red panda that has escaped from its home at the Columbus, Ohio zoo, shortly after giving birth to two cubs.

The zoo shared the news on its Facebook page that the animal was last seen Tuesday in her Asia Quest habitat, according to People magazine in a piece published Thursday. The post included a snap of the red animal. (RELATED: Celebrate Anna Kendrick’s Birthday With Her Hottest Looks [SLIDESHOW])

The Ohio zoo described the panda as a “small, non-threatening mammal about the size of a raccoon.” It explained she didn’t “present a threat to the public,” but the zoo is “eager” to find her. (RELATED: Emmy Winner Working On ‘Mr. Rogers’ Set Suffers Scary Heart Attack On Set. Plummets From Balcony)

“Animal Care staff have been conducting an extensive search in the dense vegetation in and around the animal’s habitat and throughout the Zoo,” a message on the page read. “As an added precaution, other animals living nearby in Asia Quest habitats have been brought indoors so their habitats can be thoroughly searched. ”

Later, the zoo’s post mentioned how red pandas are “excellent climbers and live in trees. They use natural shelters like tree hollows to den and sleep during the day.”

“Footage from the den camera and security cameras located through the facility are being evaluated by staff, but so far, there have been no sightings or strong evidence of how she went missing,” the statement went on.

The animal also recently gave birth to two cubs who are still nursing and the zoo explained that she’s “likely close by and that she may return on her own, due to her two cubs.”

The statement concluded with a phone number people could call at the Columbus Zoo should they find the missing panda, 614-582-1844.