Red Panda Escapes from Virginia Zoo, Again


July 16, 2007

For the second time in less than a month, a red panda has escaped from her exhibit at a Norfolk zoo.

Yin, the one-year-old animal, was discovered missing on Saturday. Zookeepers found her near the bison exhibit. She then climbed a tree near the back of a duck pond. Yin was eventually recaptured.

On June 21, Yin made visitors wait two hours until she emerged from her habitat for her debut only to escape into a nearby tree.

"She's just testing every limit that might be in the exhibit," zoo director Greg Bockheim said.

After the first escape, staff installed an electrified wire around her habitat. The wires don't carry much current, but the staff thought it would prevent a second escape.

This time, zookeepers believe Yin used low tree branches that extend into her habitat to escape.

For now, the panda will remain in a holding area until zoo staff can figure out how to prevent future escapes.


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