Red panda escapes Adelaide Zoo, found in tree at Botanic Park two days later

Red panda escapes Adelaide Zoo, found in tree at Botanic Park two days later

A red panda has escaped from the Adelaide Zoo, sparking a two-day search.

The seven-year-old red panda named Ravi escaped from its enclosure at the zoo, in the city’s CBD, on Friday.

He was found up a tree at the nearby Botanic Park on Sunday, however, keepers have spent the day trying to put him down using food, but without success.

A tranquilliser was used this afternoon, and keepers surrounded the tree with blankets to catch him.

Adelaide Zoo director Dr Phil Ainsley said keepers tried to entice Ravi down using bamboo and sweet corn, but were unsuccessful.

“Based on the advice from our vets we made the decision that we’d look at darting him … [we] finally got a dart into him and then just had to wait about 15 minutes just for the drug to take effect.

“Our amazing vet team and animal keepers were underneath with some blankets and managed to capture him as he dropped.”

Dr Ainsley said the zoo would conduct a review into Ravi’s enclosure to identify how he escaped before he is returned to his new home.

A red panda in the Adelaide Zoo’s climbing tunnel.(ABC News: Ethan Rix)

He said the Department of Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA) was alerted when Ravi went missing on Friday but the public was not notified as Ravi was deemed a “low risk” to the environment and humans.

Dr Ainsley said Ravi’s adventure was the first mammal escape from the zoo in recent years.

The focus now, he said, was on Ravi’s wellbeing, after he had only arrived at the zoo last week.

“He’s now just being transferred back into the zoo where he’ll spend the next couple of days in our animal health department just getting a check-up and making sure he’s OK,” he said.

“Obviously, being in Botanic Park, there’s a lot of fig trees, so probably he has had a bit of a munch on some figs that were in the trees but [he] will be a hungry panda.”