Kora, a 19-pound red panda at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, was reported missing on the morning of July 22. News outlets across the country reported the story, and the zoo told people that Kora was not a threat to the public because red pandas are gentle NOCTURNAL creatures. Kora’s keepers noted that she was also quite shy and easily spooked, so they were anxious to get her home safely.
In the late afternoon of July 23, two guests at the zoo spotted Kora in some dense foliage. After the guests reported the sighting to zoo staff, a team of animal health care experts quickly arrived. Unfortunately, Kora wasn’t quite ready for her adventure to end and climbed high into a nearby tree.
The zoo staff tried to coax Kora down from the tree with her favorite treats. When that didn’t work, they brought her two cubs to the area. Kora moved toward the cubs and responded to their noises, but she wasn’t ready to go home just yet.
The zoo staff decided the safest decision was to tranquilize her and catch her in a net after she fell asleep and fell from the tree. She was safely returned to her habitat and reunited with her cubs. While she hadn’t traveled far within the zoo, it was certainly an exciting couple of days for her!
As for how Kora found her way out of her enclosure, zoo officials can only guess. There were strong storms the night before Kora was reported missing, and zoo officials said the storms may have caused the tree branches to bend in a way that gave Kora a path out of her home.
In the wild, red pandas live in central and southwest Asia and share their bamboo forests with giant pandas. However, red pandas aren’t pandas at all! They actually belong to their own unique family. Red pandas are endangered, largely because of deforestation and habitat loss.
Sports Adjust, Athletes Return to Action
There are few aspects of our lives that haven’t been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, and sports are no exception.
The spotlight is on football as the NFL figures out how to safely play this season. While football has its own challenges being a contact sport, there are models for how other sports have restarted their seasons. Some athletes have OPTED not to play this season due to safety concerns, but many of our favorite players are back in action.
Golf was the first sport to resume as the PGA returned on June 11 with 350-plus players, caddies and other personnel traveling around the country.
The WNBA returned to action on July 24, and the NBA resumed their season on July 30. The NBA created a bubble: all of the teams playing this season, 22 of them, are living in hotels at Walt Disney World and playing their games at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
This follows the model of Major League Soccer which returned to action on July 8 with a 54-game tournament being held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
The National Hockey League returned on Aug. 1 with 24 teams competing for the Stanley Cup. Similar to the NBA, the NHL is trying to limit players’ exposure to the virus by limiting travel. All of the remaining NHL games this season will be played without fans in attendance in two cities: Toronto and Edmonton.
Major League Baseball returned at the end of July as well for a 60-game season plus playoffs. Unfortunately, as soon as the season started, there was a major bump in the road as more than 15 players from the Miami Marlins tested positive for COVID-19, leading to a quarantine of the team and a delay of several games.
While baseball fans can’t attend games this season, one team got creative about filling their stadium. The Oakland Athletics has an option for individuals to upload a photo and pay for a cutout of themselves or their favorite furry friend to fill a seat at the Coliseum!