Social Media Aids in Capture of a Fugitive: Rusty the Red Panda
Social Media Aids in Capture of Missing Panda
A Panda Escapes From the Zoo, and Social Media Swoop In With the Net
There was an important Supreme Court ruling early in the day. An international fugitive was possibly on a flight from Moscow to Cuba. The Dow was diving. But in the nation’s capital, Rusty the red panda, who disappeared from the National Zoo
, hijacked the news cycle on Monday.
On Twitter and Facebook, the hunt for 11-month-old Rusty, whom the zoo acquired three weeks ago as a partner to a female panda named Shama, exploded in a mix of concern, humor and, this being Washington, the goring of political oxen.
Once again, social media proved to be a powerful dragnet. Around 1:15 p.m., a Washingtonian posted a picture on Twitter of Rusty in a patch of weeds in the Adams Morgan district, not far from the 163-acre zoo, which was created in 1889 by an act of Congress. “Red panda in our neighborhood,” wrote Ashley Foughty
, who identified herself as a singer, actress and traveler. “Please come save him!”
Another neighbor posted a photograph
of two zoo workers, one in safari shorts standing on a rooftop, one holding a giant butterfly net. Soon the zoo announced: “Rusty the red panda has been recovered, crated & is headed safely back to the National Zoo!”