Look! A Bear-Raccoon-Puppeh!

Obviously scientists got it all wrong. When I look at the so-called “red panda” I see part raccoon and part puppeh, all sporting Clairol Nice ‘n’ Easy Auburn 108 . But Panda? No way!

Who decides these things!?

panda doing the cutepanda doing the cutered panda 3

By request: TONGUE-HANCE!you got lucky this time

Red pandas at Rosamund Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, New York by Rose T.



  1. chavashana says:

    Oh, man. That tongue got me.

  2. I was confused when I saw the first two photos that were the same, which only amplified the intensity of the red panda tongue in photo three. O_O BOOM indeed.

    Can we crossbreed the red panda with that Malay eagle owl thing with the gigantic eyes?

  3. Leslie (NOT the author!) says:

    Well, now, Meglet…since you *ASKED* 😉
    File this under: Geeky Librarians On a Mission:

    please see the following: http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/wildfacts/factfiles/6.shtml
    (I might not have the whole exact citation but anyway I looked up Red Pandas & found a page just chock full, o’ Klever Scientific, Important Sounding Data (including Impressive Latin Species Name, etc., etc. ad nauseum) on Said Topic.

    Please write a one-page report & bring it into class tomorrow morning. Then we will hold a quiz. Open-Net quiz, natch.

    You’re welcome. No, really, don’t mention it. It’s What We Do.

    [Well… unfortunately the BBC link doesn’t work for me, sitting here in America; I get a “403 Forbidden” error like with a lot of other BBC content. They try to restrict a lot of their WWW presence to Great Britain for some reason. But here, I’ll post a couple of Red Panda links too, from the Smithsonian and Wikipedia. – Ed.]

    […Wait, no, I figured out why it didn’t work, and fixed it. Er, yeah. Sorry. 😳 – Ed.]

  4. Panda means “bamboo eater” not “bear” as everybody thinks (according to the signage by the Red Pandas at my local Zoo) So Red Pandas are so named because they eat bamboo, not because they are bearlike or in any way related to Panda Bears.

    Hope that helps; now you don’t have to read all that science-y stuff.

  5. Ev's mum says:

    Well, there MIGHT be a cuter animal than red pandas, but it’d be a tough call. And the tongue? Well, that cinches the deal. I think red pandas are our reward for having to share the planet with things like icky bugs…….

  6. Carolyn says:


  7. Poohbear says:

    And what about thees storeh ???? Only a matter of time before it’s on the front page, we shall wait and see…

    Confoozled mama dog rejects own puppeh to adopt two red panda bebbehs ! (Rejected pup is being bottle fed, phew !)


  8. mrsmouse says:

    Great, now the sound track is playing in my head…
    “Girls, just wanna have fu-un.”

  9. His little nose needs a big ole kiss.

  10. Is he close enough to a marmie to set off Bservant’s radar? He’s got the orange mask-stripes.

  11. Gah! Red Panda with tongue sticking out is saying “Nyah, nyah, I’m the cutest animal on the planet!” What an ego!

  12. Erica T. says:

    Yay, Syracuse – I was born there! Ahn, cute panda too. I like his perfect triangle ears 🙂

  13. LibrarianJessica says:

    @Leslie (NOT the author!) – you beat me to it! Goes to show that librarians DO think alike.

  14. Katrina says:

    Leslie T. (NOT the Author)- you are so wonderful. I can’t gain access to the page you gave, maybe it is a library thing? shh….but you are just so helpful! Oh, ok, I’ll whisper, you give such a wonderful service to us all-shhh, yeah, I know… shhh…

    And Peeps, Dooooo catch shhhh…Poohbear’s link, my goodness……..shhhshhhhhhhhhh…

  15. So if I got a Pomeranian and gave it just the right haircut, then dyed it a deeper red and painted stripes on its face, and did something about its tail, and taught it to eat bamboo… naww, it’s just easier to get a red panda somewhere.

  16. Kristabelle says:

    MY FAVORITE!!!!!!!!! 😀

  17. yay! a photo from my hometown 😀

  18. Caitlin says:

    Ahhhn, that’s the zoo I go to! My favoritest red pandas!

  19. catloveschanel says:

    You have the red panda zoo? I’m so jealous! I love them. I love the comment about Clairol Nice and Easy Auburn #8. But who does the highlights? And dying the eyebrows white? They’re just too perfect. Course, I am a natural redhead. ahem

    I just have to tell someone, there was a
    Seagull in Seattle
    on my to work
    eating Dreyer’s Ice Cream
    downtown by REI.

  20. catloveschanel says:

    that is on my way to work. whoops

  21. Wow, the ears. Ohhh, it has a star poking out of its head.

  22. 5^^now8ing says:

    Leslie-NTA & LibrarianJessica– Doesn’t everybody love GLoaM? (See, now you have a pronounceable acronym) (Is that what the definition of an acronym is?)

    We just got red pandas at the Wichita zoo! But it’s been too hot to go see them. Hmmm… this weekend’s supposed to be nice….

  23. Catloveschanel,

    Funny! There was a black bird (giant, chicken-sized variety… mean.. very, very mean…) eating Cooler Ranch Doritos from a little bag sitting at the bus stop on MY way to work. He was all chill, and totally paid no attention to the man and woman sitting on the bench next to him….
    A seagull eating ice cream would have been MUCH cuter than a scary bird eating chips…

  24. Katrina says:

    There was a 17 year old boy waking up, need I say more? Talk about scary!

  25. Lifecoach says:

    Meg, shush with the whole “it don’t look like a panda” thing. Animals with the Panda brand instantaneously become 347.2-times cuter, and therefore indispensable. I propose that everything on the endangered species list be branded “Pandas” from now on.

    “C’mon kids let’s save the Poision Dart Panda of South America….” ya. it sounds waaay cuter than some poisonous amphibian kills you on contact. Bats? Flying Pygmy-Pandas, Whales? Aquatic Spouty-Pandas etc.

  26. Katrina says:

    LIfecoach- yes, oh, yes. Niiiiiiiiice.

  27. Leslie (NOT the author!) says:

    (“aw, shucks”. kicks dirt clod to shield blush) Thx, peeps.
    (PS: Librariologists, unite !!! — but not in a superior manner, just in a “blue-collar, us workin’ stiffs” kinda way !!!)

    Peace, rhinestones & fluffiness to all !!!

  28. Yep, these are one of my favorite animals!
    Panda means bamboo eater, these little guys love bamboo.

  29. They’re no longer thought to be all that closely related to pandas, but tradition keeps the name and the proximity in zoos. They are SO cute! I saw some at the panda refuge in Chengdu, a place that was terribly damaged by the earthquakes a couple of years ago ;(

  30. michelle b. adams says:

    i can’t believe we didn’t get a tongue-hance!!!!

    [ 😛 Well well well, it just so happens… 😉 – Ed.]

  31. skippymom says:

    Katrina, we no longer say shhhh all the time. We also no longer all wear our hair in buns, with cat’s-eye glasses, cardigans and sensible shoes. The time is wayyy overdue to kill off the librarian stereotypes! Come into my library and make some noise!

  32. Howdy friends
    As I understand, giant pandas (the Teddy bear variety) are kin to bears. They are also kin to the red panda, who looks like a raccoon but isn’t. There are anatomical features that link the two kinds of panda to each other and therefore to bears.
    Oddly enough, elephants by their dental structure link to hyraxes, who in turn link to — rabbits, of all things. Size and general body shape tell us only a little about how various animals are related to each other.

  33. Maureen says:

    I am a summer veterinary intern at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo, home to these sweet little dudes. The one that you are looking at is Kadesh, I think. She was hand raised by a keeper and acts like a dog and looooooves Craisins. ♥. One of our other red pandas recently gave birth to 2 babies and are both being hand raised successfully and snuggle-y. I would send in some pictures but I’m not sure if I’m allowed to yet. The babies are 27 days old and healthy today and are cuddling in a warm incubator in the window of the vet clinic.

  34. LOL Teho You da Man! OR in this case the PANDA!

  35. Maureen I think we should do a CO exclusive!

  36. maralisil says:

    Right in my own backyard! I’ve been there a few times, and should return to see these cuties!

  37. skippymom says:

    (puts face against monitor for slurpage, rubs nose against moist nosicle)

  38. Whoah! Super snorglable baby face. That cute little tongue – I can just hear the eentsy teensy panting sound and smell the super sweet baby bear-pandah-puppeh brefs.

  39. catloveschanel says:


    That’s so wierd because once leaving work one of those big black birds had a Mexican food leftovers by the bus stop on the high. He gives the box one peck, it opens, takes out a burrito and flies away. They must like Mexican food.

  40. kel burgess says:

    red pandas are related to racoons…they are not pandas …i dont even think pandas are pandas…what is a panda anyway?..i know its not a bear…

  41. Red Pandas are somewhat more closely related to weasels and wolverines, Kel.

    Giant Pandas really are bears, though.

  42. Paunchie says:

    You guys I wonder if those are turkey vultures, we have them around here in Maryland and Virginia. They are huge.

    What is a hydrax? *goes googling*

  43. Paunchie says:

    Kel it’s koala bears that aren’t really bears.

  44. Does Miss Clairol make special little red panda-sized gloves?

  45. Leslie (NOT the author!) says:

    From the “No, Really, I am **NOT** Worthy” Dept:
    (just to emphasize my legitimately geeky credendshulls….)

    @ 5^^now8(etc)….

    re.: “GLoaM”? which chapter did I miss in the class??
    I even went to Wikipedia & searched for guidance but …I got NUTtin’ –!!!

    sorry (sheepishly)

  46. Craig Miller says:

    Red Pandas were “discovered” by British explorers 50 years *before* Giant Pandas were first sighted. Until hen they were just “pandas”. When the Giant Pandas (the black and white animals usually referred to simply as “pandas”) were found, for some reason, they thought they looked a like and re-named them Red Pandas, to differentiate from Giant Pandas.

  47. 5^^now8ing says:

    @Leslie(NTA) — you didn’t miss a thing — I just thought that “Geeky Librarians on a Mission” needed an acronym. Hence, GLoaM. (Big librarian fan here — that’s what daughter #2 does — dau. #1 is a hipster bookstore chick)

  48. catloveschanel says:

    I adore Red Pandas, Sam-I-Am,
    regardless if they are a racoon
    Musteloidea, bear or loon.
    I would adore them in a box,
    or if related to a fox.
    I would snorgle them in a house.
    but not so much with a mouse.
    I would not eat them here or there.
    I would not eat them anywhere.

    [stands right up]
    [gives a cheer]
    [hands CatLoves green eggs and beer]
    – Theo (not) Geisel

  49. Leslie (NOT the author!) says:

    @5^^ (etc)
    oh wow — great concept!! I was so bz typing/ proofreeding (snicker) et al:
    “Forest, for the Trees” I guess
    Sounds like you have a pretty (brace yourselves) groovy thing goin’ in yer house.
    Thanks for the lightbulb of comprehension !

    Charter Member
    July 2009

  50. 5^^now8ing says:

    Oh, yeh, we’re totes groovy and funky and cool at our house. At least, I’m the right age to use the word “groovy,” so I guess that makes us… no, nope, ‘fraid it doesn’t…..

  51. Leslie, are you maybe a Dr. Who fan? Because one of the better-written episodes in the last few years (two episodes, actually; one story arc) involved a really big library, and a forest. Being able to “see the forest for the trees” is a pivotal plot point. David Tennant and Alix Kingston star. It’s probably our second favorite episode of the new series, superseded only by “Blink” (with the freaky statues), which was penned by the same guy, as it happens: Steven Moffat. Dude can write sci-fi. Actually, that’s not entirely fair; he can tell a good story, within a science fiction framework.

    Yeah, I’m a nerd in a household of nerds. We’re OK with it.

  52. Subhangi says:

    I agree. It looks more like a racoon than a panda…

    I vote we should call this creature as red raccoon!

  53. Subhangi says:

    I mean “propose” not “vote”. Eeesh!

  54. It’s a firefox! YAY!

  55. Leslie (NOT the author!) says:

    Theo — thx fer askin’…guess I missed that boat in my British Television Humor Studies. If it gives me any Street Cred., the very supremely geekiest of my ex-boyfriends (attended MIT et al) was all into those programs so I have just a smidge of familiarity w/ it.
    I’m sure that it’s got great stuff, tho’
    Now, if you want someone to narrate the entire film of M Python/ Holy Grail joke references, I’m yer gal….I did see in some recent C/O post, that someone ref. to sparrows & you or NTM did the “African”/ “European” rejoinder ….I had to restrain myself from jumping into the computer to participate ….(but, you’ll be happy to know that I did manage the self-discipline required. Whew.)

    Your servant in Nerdiness

  56. Katrina says:

    skippymom-I meant no stereotype, actually, I’m sorry that it appeared that way.
    I can’t make noise in a library, I just can’t. My M-I-L, way before she was my M-I-L, threw me out of ‘her’ library for chatting with her son. I won, it took anohter 15 years, but I won!! But it is indelibly imprinted on my fore-brain to not make any noise in libraries. The damage is done. I did make two quilts for our Children’s Library to raffle, just to show you and our librariologist that there are no hard feelings. Any more.

  57. Katrina says:

    Leslie Not the author!)-sorry about the “T” before, anyhoo, from now in jump! We will start quoting M/P quotes at the drop of a panda poo. How are you on “Life of Brian”? “No messiahs in here, only a naughty boy!” (Taunt, taunt, tease…will she take the bait? Happy Weekend everypeep!

  58. Leslie (NOT the author!) says:

    (The Spirit is willin’, but the Brain is inadequately supplied)
    ….oops, erp, ack (Calvin/ Hobbes Flashback)
    jeez,no. There also I am woefully unarmed. My supplicating apologeez but thanks for playing. Fred, do we have a Consolation Prize, for Katrina?????

    (finds dirt clod from earlier discussion & kicks it again, in sheepish embarrassment. Poor dirt clod is gonna need Post Traumatic stress therapy, before I recover from my British Humor Inadequacy ….)

  59. Leslie (NOT the author!) says:

    I can provide an appr. Holy Grail ref . tho’:

    “Help, help, I’m being repressed” — Dirt Clod

  60. Elizabeth says:

    GO SYRACUSE! The red pandas are my favorite part of our zoo here, they are too cute for words! (Babies have been born recently too!!!)

  61. 5^^now8ing says:

    OH! If by “groovy” you meant “nerdy,” our house *would* qualify! 😉 Tho we don’t get up as early on a Saturday as Katrina & Leslie do — 6 am on a Saturday? — yeesh! Or are y’all in the UK??
    Fam. also includes physics major son away at school, *two* St. John’s graduates (great books! great books!), and dad of whom one dare not ask a question about the Ottoman Empire, lest you get delayed for an hour or two. They all eat Monty Python for breakfast. They carry on entire conversations in MP/Simpsons/Big Lebowski references. Too bad there’s no real market for clever repartee, or we’d be *so* rich! (I basically just fulfill the audience role in the family — the Marge Simpson, if you will.)

  62. So, you tie the room together?

  63. Leslie (NOT the author!) says:

    with one significant quirk tho’
    don’t much see M. Simpson hitchhikin’ ennywhere (esp w/ clever repartee on Cute Things) on the komputerr, do we??
    Or maybe she’s become more computer literate, than she used to be back when…
    (grey hairs growing immediately & ea one making a “bing” noise as it extrudes my scalp)

    the Simpsons on TV originated on the …(wait for it!! ) Tracey Ullman Show on Fox?????

  64. Leslie (NOT the author!) says:

    ps…6:59 am… & I’m actually on the East Coast, so that was in something like
    the 9 am hour ovah’ hyeeyah!!
    — Jus sayin’

  65. 5^^now8ing says:

    Yes, yes, I remember the Simpsons on the Tracey Ullman Show and liked them (esp. the constant pacifier-sucking of baby Maggie), but didn’t like the actual show for many years. Only after it started appearing in ubiquitous reruns watched by dinner-fixing hubby (*do* love a man who cooks!) did I begin to gain an appreciation for la famille Simpsonne, and now I’m a convert. (You can see the grey hairs from there, can’t you?) (BTW, who *else* prefers “grey” to “gray?”)

    Ah, yes, I was forgetting that CO (like eBay) is on Pacific time. We in the flyover states are so used to seeing everything in Eastern time that I was making a false assumption. I do *loooove* the internationality of the Intarwebs & the fact that “the sun never sets….”


  66. I have these EXACT pandas on my cell phone wallpaper! We went to the Syracuse zoo only a few weeks ago! Too cute!

  67. Squeeeee!! Nothing could make my Monday morning better than seeing my pics on CO, with Meg’s clever commentary! Thanks for sharing them, Meg.

  68. the reason it looks so much like a raccoon and is called a red panda is because it is a very close relative to both pandas and raccoons. its weird but pandas arent a part of the bear family, theyre part of the raccoon family.