Red panda named Sunny escapes enclosure at Virginia Zoo

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NORFOLK, Virginia (WTKR) - Virginia Zoo officials are looking for Sunny, a 19-month-old red panda, who was last seen Monday at 5 p.m.

According to the Virginia Zoo, the red panda was not in her enclosure Tuesday morning and crews began a thorough search of zoo grounds. The zoo is working with the Norfolk Police Department to use a geothermal camera to search the zoo grounds for Sunny.

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Red panda named Sunny escapes enclosure at Virginia Zoo
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Red panda named Sunny escapes enclosure at Virginia Zoo
Photo: WTKR
Sunny, one of our Red pandas, is missing from her habitat. Please call/text our hotline @ 777-7899 w helpful info.… https://t.co/MpZmCuIxjW
A red panda has apparently escaped from the Virginia zoo https://t.co/OYcUyUGqFx
Anyone seen a red panda? https://t.co/n4FDzUVvJw
BREAKING: There is a Red panda missing from The Virginia Zoo in Norfolk https://t.co/9oOuOgokIP
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Zoo staff is hopeful that Sunny is still on zoo grounds.

According to the zoo, red pandas are generally not considered aggressive animals, but like any wild animal their behavior can be unpredictable and you should not try to touch, feed, or capture Sunny yourself.

If you see Sunny, call or text the Virginia Zoo hotline at 757-777-7899.

Red pandas are reddish-brown in color, with thick fur and a long tail, and similar in size to a raccoon. They can be seen on the ground, but typically are found in trees.

Sunny has been living at the Virginia Zoo since May 2016 when she came from Front Royal, the Smithsonian's Conservation Biology Institute.

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