Who could have guessed that on a day marked by a global manhunt for a hacker fugitive, Supreme Court rulings and a heated debate over immigration reform, the most riveting news in Washington would be the search for an escaped panda?
The National Zoo’s announcement that Rusty, a nearly year-old male red panda, had escaped his enclosure Sunday night captivated local and national news outlets Monday, even drawing a tweet from former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, a zoo aficionado. Thankfully, the Zoo announced at 2:22 PM that it had recovered Rusty from DC’s Adams Morgan neighborhood. Life can now go on in the nation’s capital.
We may never know what spurred Rusty to run, but vital clues are probably buried in these tweets, the highlights from the escape:
The tweet that started it all:
We are looking for a missing red panda, a male named Rusty. He was last seen at 6 p.m. last night. pic.twitter.com/JHVB79x8XY
— National Zoo (@NationalZoo) June 24, 2013
Newt weighs in:
In response to red panda charges, I have an alibi, Callista and I were feeding our pet elephants all evening ( just a joke) help find panda
— Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) June 24, 2013
CNN Anchor Jake Tapper:
Rusty the Red Panda eats shoots and leaves
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) June 24, 2013
ABC News Political Director Rick Klein:
President Obama just spoke. on #Snowden. no apparent comment on #redpanda
— Rick Klein (@rickklein) June 24, 2013
Amy Walter, Cook Political Report National Editor:
BREAKING: #redpanda not a hipster. Went Adams-Morgan instead of Petworth…
— amy walter (@amyewalter) June 24, 2013
Aaron Y. Zelin from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy:
23 ways an escaped red panda explains the Syrian Islamic Front with @Charles_Lister: http://t.co/4AZ1RsRXbU
— Aaron Y. Zelin (@azelin) June 24, 2013
D.C. Bookstore Politics and Prose:
National Zoo says Rusty, their 1-year-old red panda, is missing! No word if he’s on his way to Russia or Ecuador. http://t.co/p0KFK8tAMe
— Politics & Prose (@Politics_Prose) June 24, 2013
Somewhere, Edward Snowden is stroking a Red Panda laughing at us all.
— Invisible Obama (@InvisibleObama) June 24, 2013
Jim Antle, Editor of the Daily Caller News Foundation:
The red panda is usually pretty good at evading capture, but he’s gotten a little Rusty.
— Jim Antle (@jimantle) June 24, 2013
Comedian Dave Rubin:
The #RedPanda has been found. He was making a call on his cell and the #NSA was able to track him.
— Dave Rubin (@RubinReport) June 24, 2013