The last day or so’s worth of tweets from the Smithsonian’s National Zoo
in Washington tell a heck of a story.
Midday Monday, the zoo tweeted that it was on the lookout for an escaped red panda named Rusty and offered a picture of the little guy:
That tweet, which was retweeted more than 3,500 times, set off a slew of Twitter concern and, of course, jokes. Politicos
got in on it. According to The New York Times
, “Rusty” was on par with “Obama” for Twitter mentions Monday afternoon.
The National Zoo also posted about Rusty on Facebook
, where the message was shared more than 2,200 times.
It’s really something that Rusty was able to take over social media in D.C. as the Supreme Court was debating a closely watched affirmative action case and NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden reportedly hopped from country to country.
Early in the afternoon, one observant Washingtonian quelled worries that the panda had been stolen by snapping a picture of Rusty
scampering through some underbrush in her neighborhood. Another resident of the neighborhood nabbed a photo
of zoo workers, nets in hand, ready to take Rusty back home.
[RELATED: Master can't-ignore social media tools with Mark Ragan's one-day social media boot camp.]
A little after 2 p.m. Eastern time, the zoo tweeted that Rusty was back home, and Twitter seemed to have played a big role in his recovery:
One Facebook commenter snarked: “Possibly a first for Twitter: Constructive use.”