Panda patched up in Palmy

Last updated 17:50 06/03/2014
Red panda being operated on by Massey vets
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OPERATING TABLE: The red panda was expected to make a full recovery.

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Massey University veterinary surgeons in Palmerston North spent several hours this afternoon operating on a young red panda from Wellington Zoo.

The four-year-old red panda, named Manasa, broke his leg and dislocated his ankle after being chased by his father and getting caught in a tree yesterday.

Zoo veterinary science manager Lisa Argilla says Manasa was involved in "a little bit of a tiff that went on with his dad.

"He was being chased around the enclosure, a bit of family violence. It was a nasty, rainy day in Wellington and they were running through the trees so that probably caused him to slip and get his foot caught in the fork of a tree."

Massey surgeon Richard Kuipers Von Lande performed the operation assisted by veterinary science students.

Argilla, a former Massey vet, is expecting Manasa to make a full recovery.

"He'll be back climbing soon," she said. "He was climbing trees yesterday on three legs when we found him so this is not going to slow him down, it might reduce his range of motion a little bit."

Red pandas, found throughout the Himalayas, are classed as a vulnerable species and are threatened by deforestation and illegal hunting.

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