Red panda becomes buzz of Belfast as it goes briefly on the lam

Daring zoo escape or crime of opportunity?

It seems Amber the red panda took some time away from the Belfast Zoo this week and is no worse for wear.

“Our ‘Amber alert’ is over!! We are delighted that our inquisitive red panda safely returned to the zoo yesterday afternoon and is in good health,” the Belfast Zoo announced Tuesday.

Amber wandered away from the facility Sunday.

Police were called for help in they caper.

By Monday, tips were pouring in. So were sightings.

It was a deliveryman who really cracked the case.

Brendan Magill said he saw a worried-looking man in a driveway in the north of the city.

“I was delivering a parcel next door and when I came back it was walking up the driveway,” he told Belfast Live. “The guy had called the police and they arrived but were a bit hesitant as they had been told not to approach it.”

And that’s how the red panda came back.

Oh, and how exactly did she manage a day on the outside?

“Amber’s escape was due to a power fault in electric fencing, this has since been repaired however we will continue to monitor it,” the zoo explained Tuesday.

She’s been reunited with her twin sister Autumn.

Red Pandas are an endangered species.

They are at high risk of extinction due to habitat loss and illegal hunting.

Zoo-goers can once again see Amber, and her red panda family, when the facility opens again Feb. 2.

Photos Belfast Zoo

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Recovering newspaper reporter.


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