Koala that escaped from enclosure at San Diego Zoo captured

SAN DIEGO - A 2-year-old koala that briefly escaped from his enclosure in the San Diego Zoo has been captured.

Mundu, who was born at the zoo in 2012, was no longer in his enclosure at the Australian Outback exhibit Tuesday morning. Workers found him in a nearby acacia tree. He dozed for hours under the watchful eyes of handlers and a few passersby.

One zoo visitor smiled. "He looks pretty happy, probably a little more space than in his cage," she said.

Ted Molter is the marketing director for the San Diego Zoo. 

"He moved outside the enclosure," said Molter. "It has a low perimeter around it with climbing structures. We don't know specifically exactly what his route to get out was but we'll be looking at all of those."

It was a game to some folks who tried to pick him out. Jim Chiavelli told 10News, "It was kind of fun to look for it because we knew they're not dangerous animals."

His granddaughter, Jenna, enjoyed the hunt. 

"Basically, just looked up in all the trees," she said. "It was kind of hard to find. They blended in a lot."

There is YouTube video, though, that shows they can be dangerous. Video shows one attacking a man and breaking the skin.

Pandas look harmless too, but they can be aggressive. The giant panda Bai-Yun slipped out of an unlocked gate one Sunday morning three years ago and bit a keeper who tried to maneuver her back into her habitat.

Mundu was coaxed out of the tree by a handler riding up to him in a cherry picker. 

The koala was taken to a veterinarian for a checkup before being returned to the colony.

The zoo's "Koala Cam" apparently did not capture the moment the animal left the enclosure.

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