In 2013, Rusty the red panda briefly roamed free in Washington, D.C. He passed away suddenly.

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In this handout from the Smithsonian National Zoo, a male red panda by the name of Rusty is shown in his exhibit in the zoo’s Washington, D.C. location in 2013. Source: Getty Images remove caption

switch to caption Source: Getty Images In this handout from the Smithsonian National Zoo, a male red panda by the name of Rusty is shown in his exhibit in the zoo’s Washington, D.C. location in 2013.

Source: Getty Images Rusty the red panda, who captured the city when he escaped from the Smithsonian’s National Zoo over ten years ago, has passed away. Some people who were in Washington, D.C. in 2013 are mourning his passing. Ten years old was he.

On October 14, he passed away. According to Sandy Morrison, marketing and communications manager at Pueblo Zoo, where he was residing, the reason of death is yet unknown.

Rusty was discovered in Adams Morgan, which borders the zoo’s surrounding parkland. hide caption Bethany Morlind
switch to caption Adams Morgan, which borders the zoo’s surrounding parklands, is where Bethany Morlind Rusty was discovered.

Elizabeth Morlind In June 2013, when the panda was only 11 months old, he made headlines. The exhibit’s branches may have been weighted down by rainwater, which allowed him to fall to the other side of the cage, according to officials. He was later discovered by a local in Washington, D.C.’s Adams Morgan area.

Ashley Wagner, a performer, wrote to NPR, “I was heading home from lunch with my family when Rusty sauntered out from some bushes onto the sidewalk ahead of us.” He strolled for a few blocks before seeking safety in a secure yard.

Red panda in the vicinity! Biltmore and 20th NW. Come and save him, please! @nationalzoo1 pic.twitter.com/llQF7P9QH5

(@AshleyWagARTS) Ashley Wagner June 24, 2013 Wagner was able to snap some pictures of him and noted that Twitter seems to be the most efficient way to inform the zoo of Rusty’s whereabouts. He was located and brought back to his residence thanks to the tweet .

In a time of intense headlines (and maybe overbearing connection to technology), Wagner said, “I think Rusty’s story provided a feeling of hope, playfulness, and adventure to all of our lives — and it showcased the best of what social media can achieve.”

Sandy Morrison of the Pueblo Zoo told NPR that Rusty was “a tremendous ambassador for the species and was a happy, independent panda.” hide caption Bethany Morlind

switch to caption Elizabeth Morlind Sandy Morrison of the Pueblo Zoo told NPR that Rusty was “a tremendous ambassador for the species and was a happy, independent panda.”

Elizabeth Morlind He was moved to Colorado’s Pueblo Zoo in 2019 from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, where he and another red panda had been transported for breeding efforts. While there, they were able to reproduce.

Momo, a female, and Mogwai, a boy, the twin cubs, were born in August 2021. Although their mother Priya now resides in the Utah Hogle Zoo, the animals are still at the Pueblo Zoo.

He was a great representative of the species and a playful, independent panda who developed close relationships with our Keepers. Morrison wrote, “He will be sadly missed.

No public remarks have been made by the National Zoo.

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