Officials at the Saint-Martin-la-Plaine Zoo said the endangered animal was last seen three miles from the park by a surprised motorist.
The park said the panda escaped last Friday by climbing up branches broken by snowfall and swinging from tree to tree.
The panda, a cat-sized nocturnal animal with reddish fur and a shaggy tail, would probably spend “a good part of the day sleeping in a tree”.
The zoo advised residents to keep a look-out “at the top of the trees”.
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