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Rusty The Panda’ Is Missing From The National Zoo

"Rusty the Panda." He's on the loose in D.C.

There's a red panda missing from the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., zoo officials announced Monday morning.

So if you're in the nation's capital, keep an eye out for Rusty. But don't approach him, they warn:

"Remember: red pandas are wild animals, & will bite if cornered or scared."

His most likely whereabouts:

"Red pandas typically spend the warm daytime hours resting, so it's likely Rusty is somewhere in or near the Zoo hiding in a tree."

What to look for:

-- A little guy from "the mountains of Nepal, Myanmar, and central China" who probably weighs less than 20 pounds and is about 40 inches long from his head to the tip of his tail. (National Geographic)

-- An "engaging, bamboo-eating" fellow who resembles a raccoon. (The National Zoo)

Oh, and he may have a smart phone or tablet. Following the trails blazed in 2011 by "Bronx Zoo Cobra" and "Bronx Zoo Peacock," a "Rusty the Panda" popped up Monday on Twitter, as did "@Rusty_thePanda."

@RustyThePanda's first tweet:

"Sorry @NationalZoo, it's just such a beautiful day out. I'm hitting the town! @BronxZoosCobra let's meet up?"

@Rusty_thePanda, if that is indeed his real name, seems to know a bit about Washington:

"Does anyone else think that Jay Carney and I kind of look alike? #pandasfromanothermother"

Bronx Zoo Cobra, by the way, was found sssafe and sssound.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit www.npr.org.

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