Rusty was acquired by the National Zoo from Washington because they also have a female red Panda, Shama. The fugitive Rusty was spotted by a young woman, Ashley Foughty (singer, actress, musician), who found about his disappearance on Twitter. She published a short message and a photo, saying: “ Red panda in our neighborhood ! 20th NW and Biltmore. Please come save him ! @nationalzoo1”. Using the hashtag she pointed her message to the Washington Zoo. This appeal had result. Rusty returned safe to the National Zoo. The panda couldn’t wait to meet Shama !
The red Pandas are natives from China, like giant Pandas, but they are not included in the bear’s family. The red Pandas are slightly larger than a domestic cat. They clean their fur like a cat and mark their territories with urine. The species has been classified as vulnerable in the IUCN Red List since 2008. Those nice animals are very popular. The red Panda was a mascot of the Darjeeling Tea Festival.