VIDEO: Rusty the red panda back in his National Zoo habitat home - KMSP-TV

VIDEO: Rusty the red panda back in his National Zoo habitat home

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WASHINGTON, DC -

Rusty the red panda who temporarily escaped his enclosure at the Smithsonian's National Zoo June 24, 2013 is back home. Zoo staff moved Rusty from the hospital into a behind-the-scenes holding area at his enclosure.

Rusty was transported in a crate. And just after 9am Tuesday he was released into the habitat.

It is the first time Rusty and Shama, his roommate,  have seen each other in 2 weeks.

Rusty the red panda made his escape from the National Zoo through the trees. Zoo experts examined the red panda enclosure and determined rain lowered the limbs of the trees enough for Rusty to use them for his breakout. The rain also caused tall bamboo on the perimeter of the enclosure to bend over into the animal area.

Nature created the perfect bridge for Rusty to climb on to escape. The black bamboo grown on the zoo grounds may also have enticed Rusty since red pandas love the plant species.

The Zoo staff took action to prevent another flight. All the trees and bamboo close enough to aid an escape will be trimmed or transplanted.

Animal keepers discovered Rusty was missing the morning of June 24th and started searching at 8 a.m. The zoo began sending out messages about his disappearance on Twitter and Facebook in case someone saw him.

The search was aided by Ashley Foughty who lives nearby, saw Rusty, tweeted a picture and called the zoo.

Twitter @NationalZoo
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  • …s National Zoo. The male named Rusty was captured in a tree near a home in the ……the area where he was found and called Rusty 's name to calm him before capturing him ……remain there for several days. How Rusty escaped is still a mystery, though …

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  • Rusty the red panda made his escape from the National ……lowered the limbs of the trees enough for Rusty to use them for his breakout. The rain also …… Nature created the perfect bridge for Rusty to climb on to escape.The black bamboo …

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