A small cat was on the loose Sunday at Hogle Zoo, but officials said the 10-month-old is not dangerous.
Keepers discovered about 8 a.m. that Mushu, an 8 pound Pallas’ cat, was missing from his outside habitat.
The zoo has remained open as staffers attempt to locate Mushu, described as a very shy and reserved cat. Pallas’ cats are extremely elusive and tend to hunker down, making them difficult to spot, according to a zoo news release.
The release says staff members have tracked numerous paw prints but other cats — including feral and nearby domesticated cats — have paws the same size as the Pallas’ cat, making the search difficult.
Live box traps have been set up and searchers are using thermal imaging cameras that detect heat to try to find Mushu, Hogle Zoo spokeswoman Erica Hansen said. Additional keepers joined the the regular night crew on Sunday to assist in the effort, she said.
A few hours after Mushu went missing, someone created a @hoglepallascat Twitter account, posting as the missing feline and asking for help getting home.
“I’m Mushu, a 10 month old Pallas’ cat out and about in SLC,” he says. “Let Hogle Zoo know if you find me.”
Mushu was born March 28 at Hogle Zoo, along with four siblings, the release says. Mushu had begun showing signs of aggression toward his brother, Pabu, and keepers separated the pair two days ago.
Hogle Zoo has exhibited Pallas' cats — which live in rocky, mountainous regions of central Asia and are adapted for life in cold climates — since 2006.