A red panda which escaped from Hamilton Zoo has been found dead.
Badal was transferred from Auckland to Hamilton last Friday, but zoo staff noticed he was missing earlier this week.
The animal has been found dead this morning on a road near the zoo. A Hamilton City Council spokesman says it appears Badal was hit by a car.
A post-mortem examination will be carried out.
Hamilton Zoo director Stephen Standley says the loss of Badal is extremely sad.
"Everyone at the zoo is devastated, particularly the team that works closely with the mammals."
The zoo will conduct an investigation into the red pandas escape from his enclosure in conjunction with MAF Biosecurities.
Badal's brother Chito will remain at Hamilton Zoo as red pandas live naturally in isolation.
— Red Panda, Obituaries Editor, Light Reading