Rusty's 15 Minutes Of Fame

The escaped red panda is back at the National Zoo, but now that he's had a taste of the spotlight, he's got to be craving more

The country was captivated yesterday by the daring escape of Rusty the red panda from the National Zoo -- or, I should say, it was briefly captivated, because then he was located in a surburban neighbourhood and the story was over. Or was it? Now that he's a media sensation, there are probably lots of shows that could benefit from harnessing Rusty's star power.

Parks & Recreation

Leslie (Amy Poehler) tries to goose attendance at the Pawnee Zoo with a guest engagement by Rusty. Unfortunately, the dilapidated Pawnee Zoo is not exactly equipped to contain a red panda as slippery as Rusty, who quickly escapes and ends up the alpha in a pack of particularly ill-tempered raccoons.


The Mayor (Kyle MacLachlan) notices his approval ratings have slipped by 0.4%, so he attempts to shore up support by recruiting Rusty as his new Deputy Mayor.


With Ryan (Parker Young) away at college, Sheila (Ana Gasteyer) decides she needs something new to love. Obviously neither something as pedestrian as a cat, nor Sheila's daughter Lisa (Allie Grant), will be sufficient to fill the vacuum. No: replacing Ryan will require a pet that's truly exotic. Enter Rusty the red panda.

Family S.O.S.

Jo Frost helps a fractured family to heal by interacting with her specially trained therapy red panda, Rusty.


When Mike (Patrick J. Adams) gets a frantic call from one of his old weed-dealer pals who needs to skip town for a while, he reluctantly agrees to red pandasit. Too bad the little guy goes crazy when he's left alone at home, so Mike has to sneak him into the office!


After escaping from the National Zoo a second time, Rusty realizes he needs someone to tell his side of the story in the media, and hires Olivia Pope & Associates.

The Walking Dead

A red panda from the Atlanta Zoo wanders into the survivors' camp and soon becomes their mascot and an unofficial symbol of hope that there are better days to come eventually, until a walker bites him and he attacks five of the remaining humans.

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Det. Benson (Mariska Hargitay) is the only NYPD officer to show compassion to a sexually confused red panda (Rusty) after he wanders into the wrong copse at Central Park and gets sexually assaulted by a badger.

The Newsroom

In a story based on Rusty's actual National Zoo escape, Rusty plays himself. The episode will air four years from now.

Project Runway

The colour of Rusty's coat is the inspiration for a faux fur challenge; Rusty later serves as a guest judge.


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