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Undignified Rescue For Tree Climbing Red Panda

Undignified Rescue For Tree Climbing Red Panda

This is the moment a rare red panda got an undignified rescue by firemen after clambering up a tree in a residential area in the city of Kunming in south-western China’s Yunnan province.

Listed as endangered, the red panda (Ailurus fulgens) is a protected species and the fact that this one seemed to be unable to get down sparked a full on rescue including firemen, environmental protection officers, and local vets.

The red panda had been spotted by dog walker Wen Yin, 48, who noticed the animal in the tree when his dog started barking below.

He said: "At first I thought it was a cat, then I realised it was actually a red panda. It didn't seem as if it was too comfortable and I was worried it might fall, so I called police."

Police spokesman Shi Chang said: "At first we use the animal experts who tried to shoot it with a dart so that we could catch it in a net without success. In the end the firemen offered to use their extendable ladder and managed to reach over and grab the panda by the tail so that they could get it safely to the ground."

With only 10,000 adults thought to be living in the wild officials believe that the red panda rescued in the joint operation had probably been in a zoo or park as it was unlikely a wild specimen wandered into the city.

Officer Chang said: "We have never had a report of these reddish-brown animals coming into the city before. Like giant pandas they mainly feed on bamboo anyway so there is no reason for them to do so. In addition they are mainly nocturnal and sleep during the day – so we think it must have been an escaped animal."

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