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Missing red panda found dead

THE red panda which escaped from Galloway Wildlife Park more than 18 months ago has died after being found injured at a roadside.

Mother and cub, Pichu and Isla, went missing from the park in Kirkcudbright in February 2008.

The adult panda was found safe and well more than two months later.

The cub was discovered on Thursday with head injuries by the side of the road between Kippford and Dalbeattie and later died from her injuries.

The duo sparked a police search when they went missing from the south west Scotland park last year.

Despite being native to China, India and Nepal, park owners were confident the animals could survive in the wild in south west Scotland.

The mother was eventually traced sitting on a branch in nearby farmland.

Her cub survived for more than 18 months in the Dumfries and Galloway countryside before being badly injured.

Park owner John Denerley confirmed Isla had died after being taking to a vet for treatment.

"Amazingly, Isla survived in the wild for such a long period and was in good condition since she escaped in February 2008," he said.

"We are devastatingly upset over her death."

However, he added that two twin red pandas, born at the wildlife centre earlier this year, were progressing well.

 
 
 

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