The six-month old red panda cubs had an exciting day at the Woodland Park Zoo — the tree branch they were sitting on broke, landing them just outside their exhibit on Dec. 26.
An animal keeper noticed Zeya, one of the two cubs, moving in a behind-the-scenes area at 8:30pm on Wednesday. They responded immediately, luring her down with food relatively quickly, according to a post on the zoo’s Facebook page. She was back in her habitat by midnight.
The other panda, Ila, climbed up a taller tree a short distance away. Because she was so high, zoo staff waited for her to climb down on her own so she wouldn’t become startled and fall.
Staff stayed with Ila throughout the night, and when morning came, brought out her favorite breakfast, apples, in an attempt to encourage her down. She finally climbed down at 11:40am on Thursday, when animal keepers returned her to her habitat.
The two cubs are now back with their mother, Hazel, and are being closely watched to ensure they didn’t sustain any injuries whilst on their hiatus from the exhibit.
“Being in a park-like setting, the zoo is flush with trees and foliage,” the zoo wrote on Facebook. “Exhibits with tall trees and long branches are routinely checked to ensure all animals and guests are safe. The red panda exhibit is being rechecked as a precaution.”