Rusty the red panda escape: Here's how he did it

Rusty was on the loose for several hours before being caught. Photo: Washington Humane Society

We now know how Rusty the red panda escaped from the National Zoo earlier this week.

The Smithsonian’s National Zoo said it’s likely the wily red panda left his exhibit by climbing through the tree canopy.

The zoo came to this conclusion by reviewing security footage and recent photos.

Rusty escaped from the zoo on either Sunday night or Monday morning. His escape became a social media sensation, with hundreds of people tweeting about it through the morning and afternoon.

Rusty was eventually caught near Adams Morgan Monday afternoon.

The Zoo on Friday stated that trees in the enclosure have been trimmed and another visitor barrier will be added to Rusty’s exhibit, among other measures.