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    Red panda found in fig tree after escaping Australian zoo

    WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND (AP) – A red panda that spent two days on the lam after escaping from an Australian zoo was recaptured on Sunday after he was spotted hanging out in a fig tree in a nearby park.

    Named Ravi, the seven-year-old panda had arrived at Adelaide Zoo last week after he was brought in from another zoo with hopes that he would pair up with a female red panda named Mishry. But by Friday, Ravi was gone.

    Adelaide Zoo Director Phil Ainsley told the Australian Broadcasting Corp that zookeepers spent on Sunday trying to entice Ravi down from the fig tree with some of his favourite foods, including bamboo and sweet corn, to no avail.

    In the end they fired a tranquiliser dart.

    “We used different dart devices, finally got a dart into him and then just had to wait about 15 minutes just for the drug to take some effect,” Ainsley said.

    Seven-year-old red panda Ravi sits in a tree near the zoo he escaped from. PHOTOS: AP
    Ravi is caged after being found in a tree

    Ravi then fell into the blankets of zookeepers who were waiting beneath the tree.

    “Ravi’s doing really well,” Ainsley told the broadcaster. “Settling down into animal health hospital, where he’s just going to spend the next two or three days after being on the run.

    Just want to make sure he’s all healthy and recovered from his adventure.”

    Ainsley said they discovered Ravi had escaped his enclosure on Friday morning and initially focussed their attention within the zoo, figuring he’d be up one of the large trees there. It wasn’t until Sunday morning that a zookeeper spotted him in the fig tree in the nearby botanic park.

    Ainsley told the broadcaster they’d be reviewing the zoo’s CCTV footage to figure out how Ravi escaped.

    “We know that red pandas are incredibly agile, and renowned for being escapologists,” Ainsley said.

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