Rusty, the red panda who escaped from the National Zoo back in June of 2013 when he was less than a year old, has passed away unexpectedly according to a social media post by Pueblo Zoo. Rusty roamed around Adams Morgan when he escaped the soon at some point during the night of June 23rd. He was spotted throughout Adams Morgan until the Washington Humane Society located him in a tree at 2pm the next day and was able to put him in a crate and bring him back home to the zoo.
Rusty was born in 2012 at the Lincoln Children’s Zoo in Nebraska. He then moved to the National Zoo in DC where he lived for a while before moving once again to the Pueblo Zoo in Colorado. While at Pueblo Zoo he became a father of twins, Mogwai and Momo. Pueblo Zoo released the following statement regarding Rusty’s death earlier this week:
We are sad to report the unexpected passing of Rusty, the red panda. Born in 2012 at the Lincoln Children’s Zoo, he then spent time at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute before coming to the Pueblo Zoo. While at our Zoo, Rusty became a dad to twins, Mogwai and Momo. He was a curious but independent panda, often found stretched out over a log under the misters or munching on bamboo. “I feel very lucky to have earned his trust and been able to work closely with him over the past years. He was a great ambassador for his species and will be missed by staff and guests alike.” Bethany, Area Supervisor.