On one of my Kentucky hiking Facebook groups, I came across some very interesting photos. It looked like two hikers had stumbled across a panda bear in the trees at the Red River Gorge geographic area in Kentucky’s Daniel Boone National Forest.

Although the photos were taken last year, they still fascinated me because it is the work of Mother Nature. Unless a panda escaped from the zoo, there wouldn’t be one in the trees of the Bluegrass State.

Where do pandas live?

World Wildlife says,

Pandas live mainly in the temperate forests of the high mountains of southwestern China, where they live almost entirely on bamboo.

My in-laws grow bamboo in the Hollar behind their house, but no pandas came to sit a spell. It would be far enough for them to swim for such a small amount of bamboo. Let’s say it wouldn’t be worth the trip from China.

Kentucky hikers see what a panda looks like in the woods

While hiking, Carole and her friend Jessica came across something unexpected.

Carole’s Facebook post describes what they saw like this…

I stopped at Angel’s Windows in the Red River Gorge yesterday to check out the grazing horse and found a panda in a tree on my way out.

Do you see what appears to be a panda in the trees atop the arching rock formation?

Carole Anderson and Jessica Green Isham/Facebook/Canva

Carole Anderson and Jessica Green Isham/Facebook/Canva

Out of peripheral vision, by the way, Carole and Jessica saw discoloration on the bark of the tree and the placement of tree moss on the trunk of the tree. It looked like a panda was clinging to the tree.

Carole Anderson and Jessica Green Isham/Facebook/Canva

Carole Anderson and Jessica Green Isham/Facebook/Canva

Carole told me exactly where the ‘panda’ is in Red River Gorge.

About halfway on the back trail (a tree divides the path and you’ll have passed both glory holes), at this point search through the trees to the left. This is where the Panda was found. Once you see the horse, you don’t need to go any further.

If you’re hiking this fall, in the gorge, let me know if it still looks like a panda is in the trees. Take pictures. I would love to see them.

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