Rusty the Red Panda Makes His Return

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This photo shows Rusty the red panda. Rusty's mate, Shama, died Aug. 16. (Photo credit: The National Zoo)

This photo shows Rusty the red panda. Rusty’s mate, Shama, died Aug. 16. (Photo credit: The National Zoo)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — Rusty the Red Panda will make a return to his exhibit Tuesday morning.

The National Zoo will take Rusty from the animal hospital where he was being held after his capture, and place him in a behind-the-scenes enclosure at his exhibit around 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Zoo officials will then release him into the exhibit when they feel he is ready.

The National Zoo located Rusty after he had been missing since June 24.

The Red Panda was found in a bush about a mile away from the zoo in Adams Morgan. He was taken to the zoo’s animal hospital for a checkup.

“National Zoo” and “Rusty the Red Panda” were trending locally on Twitter Monday afternoon. A few people who spotted him skulking around the area where he was eventually found tweeted photos of the orange, house cat-sized creature to the National Zoo. Once Rusty was recovered, the zoo tweeted a thank you message to everyone who helped look for him.

Zoo officials say animal care staff members had been combing the trees around the zoo since 8 a.m. They were worried that the red panda was sick and hiding, or that someone had taken him.

Rusty, who will turn one year old in July, just came to the National Zoo from Lincoln Children’s Zoo in Nebraska in April. He was in quarantine for several weeks until he went on exhibit in early June.

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(TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)</em

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