Courtesy: National Zoo/Twitter
A male red panda named Rusty has gone missing from the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., and the zoo is warning the public that the wild animal "will bite if corner or scared."
A spokesperson for the zoo told CBSNews.com that Rusty was last seen by a zookeeper who fed the red panda last night at about 6 p.m. and officials realized he was missing this morning.
According to the zoo's Twitter page, "red pandas are arboreal, territorial animals, so it would be unusual for Rusty to wander far from his home range, in his case his exhibit."
Zoo officials have been combing the trees around the zoo and say he could be in hiding or sick, according to the Twitter page.
According to the zoo's website, Rusty came to the zoo from the Lincoln Children's Zoo in Nebraska and he will turn one year old in July.
The zoo is urging the public to keep an eye out for the animal:
If you do see Rusty, don’t try to approach him. Stay where you can safely keep an eye on him & alert the Zoo (202.633.4888) immediately.— National Zoo (@NationalZoo) June 24, 2013
© 2013 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.