RED PANDA ESCAPES FROM KNOXVILLE ZOO! LbNA # 32186 (ARCHIVED)
|Placed Date||Jun 24 2007|
|Last Found||Feb 28 2008|
Pandora the Red Panda was very happy at her new home in the Knoxville Zoo. She usually stayed in a little plastic box provided by her friendly keepers that she came to quickly call ‘home’. One day, Pandora was loaded up, box and all, to be trucked to the Chicago Zoo where she was to meet Percival in hopes they would start a Red Panda family. Thy were on Kingston Pike by the University heading west when the driver had an accident and Pandora’s box came open and she spilled out onto the road a bit dazed. She regained her composure, however, put her home under her paw, and headed north on Concord.
?She saw a sign that said, “Third Creek”, but being color blind, didn’t know if it was blue or green. She followed the sign because she thought it would lead her to some water, but all she saw was a big parking lot! The gravels were hard on her little footies, so she ambled up on the nice new sidewalk and headed west. She quickly crossed a nice bridge over a small river where she descended to slake her thirst. “This looks like a good path to follow!”, she said to herself, and off she ambled.
She crossed and entered the big woods where she immediately felt safe and at home among the big trees. She saw a little sign that said something like ‘John Ulmer Memorial’, and wondered who he was. “Why isn’t this thing straight?”, she wondered. Anyway, Pandora came upon a couple of picnic tables and hopped up on the one by a big tree with a hole near the ground to finish someone's peanut butter and jelly sandwich when she heard the barking of several dogs coming down the trail. “They might be coming after me!” she thought, so off she scampered keeping on her western course, and the smooth trail that lay ahead.
Pandora ran by a large stand of bamboo that had been killed and wished it hadn’t been so because she could have had a snack for its leaves were what she liked the most. “Grrrrr!”, she said showing her beautiful teeth. She continued uphill and rested a moment on a bench.
She crawled down after a little bit, but now she was really hungry again. She passed by a strange warty-looking tree with many protuberances and a hackberry tree that looked like it was growing out of it.
Pandora came upon a green steel thingy that talked about an ashe and thought that was strange because she hadn’t seen an ashe all day. “Humans are dumb!” she decided. Nearing starvation, she rested 82 seconds on the steel thingy when she heard a horrible sound. It was coming from the east and it was getting closer and closer! When the ground began to shake, off she bolted, and under she ran. Love was not on her mind as the noise passed overhead making her little nose whiskers vibrate. “Is this how I’m going to die?”, she cried as her life flashed before her. Instinct and adrenalin took charge over her bodily functions and this normally sluggish little waif turned into more of a fox as she took off like a tornado. Quickly she had a decision to make, but it was easy as one choice had no cover to hide in, and the other went into the woods.
Streaking into the woods, the hellish sounds continued as if it was keeping up with her. Realizing the 'monster' was just passing her by, Pandora soon tired and slowed to a cantor. But now it was getting dark and a hiding place needed to be found soon. A black perch would not be safe, but Pandora persevered and onward she plugged. Just as the little, petite, pooped and perspiring panda was about to pass out, Pandora came upon three possibilities; two on one side of the highway, and one on the other. The biggest looked best and under she crawled on the east side, safe and secure in her little box she called home so the morning sun would wake her at dawn.
Sadly, Pandora expired during the night having been bitten by a brown recluse spider from whose venom she was not immune. Her home, which is now her tomb, is where she lies today. I have placed some tiger lilies nearby to mark her grave. And just over Pandora's box, I have placed a small grave marker that reads: "Pandora's Box June 24, 2007". Do look for it. If you find her resting place, remember to be careful of the speeding idiots that zoom by on bikes, and pray for them. Unbelievable as it might sound, they could be your boss tomorrow.
No water for humans to drink here, and no toilets, either. Grrrrr!
Thanks to The Little Foxes for carving this stamp.