Zoo releases latest information on search for cat ‘Mushu’

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SALT LAKE CITY — Hogle Zoo has provided an update on “Mushu,” the eight-pound Pallas’ cat who disappeared from his enclosure Sunday.

A security camera with night vision captured a photo of 10-month-old Mushu, “just where we thought he was – close to home, in the maintenance area,” the zoo said.

Crews are continuing to try to recapture Mushu.  Zookeepers said he typically comes out during dawn and dusk, so they plan to take more action Monday night, with more live box traps and more treats to lure him in.

They think he may have climbed up the sides of his enclosure, over the anti-climb barriers and somehow got through the mesh at the top.  All of those measures had specifically been in place after the zoo upgraded security in 2016, when a leopard escaped its enclosure.  Manager of Community Relations Erica Hansen said they are currently up to code.

“He is not dangerous and the Zoo is still open,” a Facebook post from Hogle Zoo said.

Mushu is endangered, however, which is partly why it is so important for keepers to get him back in his enclosure soon.  Pallas cats like cold weather and can survive temperatures up to 60 below, so they are not worried about him getting cold.  

Plus, Hansen said wild animals typically do not have to do more work than they need to when it comes to hunting and eating, so they expect Mushu will get tired of hiding out by the maintenance sheds, and will make his way back eventually to where he is familiar and comfortable.