Missing red panda found safe after escaping Eureka zoo

Courtesy Sequoia Park Zoo/Facebook

EUREKA, Calif. (AP)— A red panda that went missing three days ago from a zoo on California's far north coast has been safely located and returned to her home in Eureka.

The Eureka Times Standard reports Sunday that the tiny creature named Masala was found safe and sound Saturday night and is back at the Sequoia Park Zoo. Zoo manager Gretchen Ziegler says a citizen saw the 1-year-old red panda walking around a half-mile from the zoo's entrance.

Ziegler says that the unidentified citizen herded Masala up a small fruit tree and kept an eye on the furry creature until zoo staff arrived.

The panda was lured down the 10-foot-tall tree with food and caught. Ziegler says the furry creature is eating and drinking normally in a quarantine area. Veterinarians will check up on her Monday.