A red panda, rescued recently from a river in Shi-Yomi district of Arunachal Pradesh bordering China, was released back to its natural habitat by forest officials on Saturday.

The rare species of the animal was rescued from the Yargyap-Chu river in Mechukha sub-division of the district by two youths – Tony Mosing and Takar Kotin Mosu of Mechukha town after spotting the animal clinging to a log in the middle of the river.

Soon after the reports of its rescue reached the forest office, a team led by Mechuka range forest officer reached the spot and took possession of the animal. Following which, the exotic animal was successfully released into the wild.

Arunachal Red Panda release

The two Samaritans who rescued the animal were honoured with cash rewards as a token of appreciation by the forest department.

Meanwhile, Arunachal Assembly Speaker Pasang D Sona, who represents Shi-Yomi district, has lauded the efforts of the forest department and the two men who came to the animal’s rescue.

Interestingly, this is the first time that a Red Panda has been sighted in the district, even though there were many unconfirmed reports of its existence.

Red Pandas are very rare animals and are only found in the high-altitude pockets of Sikkim and Arunachal.