Endangered red panda missing from Belfast Zoo has been found

A red panda has gone missing Credit: Anna Gowthorpe/PA

A red panda that went missing from Belfast Zoo has been found and is being returned to its home.

The endangered animal went missing on Sunday on a "surprise vacation" and was believed to be "taking in the sights of beautiful Glengormley".

But after an alert put out by the Police Service of Northern Ireland and the zoo, the adventurous panda was located safe and well.

The red panda cub has gone on a 'surprise vacation', police said. Credit: Belfast Zoo

Belfast Zoo tweeted: "We are happy to report that the missing red panda has been located and is being returned to its home at Belfast Zoo - thanks to everyone for their help with the search!"

Red pandas are nocturnal and are generally found in wooded areas.

Two panda cubs were born at the zoo in June last year but only started to venture outside towards the end of 2018.

A red panda at Belfast Zoo. Credit: Belfast Zoo/PA

Red pandas spend most of their time in the trees - their sharp claws make them agile climbers and they use their long, striped tails for balance.

According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, the red panda is facing a very high risk of extinction.