The Red Panda

Red Panda Doodlewash - illustration and watercolor sketch and painting of red panda, lesser panda, red bear-cat, and red cat-bear

This marks the end of our Uncommon Creatures adventure this month. To say goodbye, we have this little red panda, which is better known, but becoming increasingly more uncommon. Just last year, these poor little creatures moved to “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. This cute critter is also referred to as a lesser panda, red bear-cat, and red cat-bear. Those latter terms, I guess, are similar to the Crayola® conundrum as kids when trying to decipher whether to use orange-red vs. red-orange. And after all that naming fuss, it’s not a cat or a bear at all. Though it has been classified as a relative of the panda and raccoon, its currently considered part of its own unique family: the Ailuridae.

Though classified as a carnivore, they don’t really eat meat, preferring to snack on bamboo and the occasional insect. In an odd 2009 study in The Journal of Heredity, it was discovered red pandas also like fake sugar like Nutrasweet and Equal. This is apparently significant in that it makes the red panda the only non-primate species who can taste aspartame. It was previously thought the only animals who could taste this questionable artificial sweetener were Old World monkeys, apes, and well, of course, humans.

Red pandas are about the same size as a domestic cat, but their long raccon-like tails can add as much as 18 inches (45.7cm) to their length. They also like to escape zoos and have escaped from many, including a zoo in Rotterdam in 1978. Even though the poor creature was found dead shortly after the escape, locals continue to report sightings of the critter. It was believed by researchers that people expected to see a red panda, so they saw one, leading them to name the phenomenon the Red Panda Effect. And so concludes our doodlewash adventure of Uncommon Creatures this month. Stay tuned tomorrow for a brand new adventure as we go on another journey together in April!

About the Doodlewash

M. Graham watercolors: Quinacridone Gold, Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Teal, Neutral Tint and Titanium White Gouache. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon sepia ink and second pen with black ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal


Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. Susan Feniak 7 years ago

    It looks like he is waving Bye Bye to this month and all the Uncommon Creatures. Thank you Charlie for this months adventures. 🙂

  2. Jacob 7 years ago

    Oh he’s so adorable – you’ve made me go on another Google image spree – and looks rather sombre in the eyes; fitting on a couple of counts. Love those pads on his little waving paw! And I’ve learnt that these aren’t quite the size I thought they were. It’s been a weird but wonderful journey, Charles. I’m intrigued to see what’s coming next!

    Haha, the Crayola conundrum. Too true.

    • Author

      Thanks Jacob!! I think this guys are super cute! Hehe…thought I’d end on cute versus weird and shocking. Out like a lamb and all. Still putting the finishing thoughts on April, but I will be inviting folks to play along! Stay tuned! 😉

      • Jacob 7 years ago

        Ooh, this sounds entertaining! Colour me even more intrigued (I’m sure there’s a Crayola for that!)

  3. Jill Kuhn 7 years ago

    Thanks for the laugh today, Charlie! 😜 The Red Panda effect – go figure! Haha! Cute little guy and it looks like he is waving goodbye! 🙋 Look forward to what magic you have on your paintbrush for April! 🎨❤️🌟💕

    • Author

      Thanks so much Jill!! 😃💕hehe…that’s such a funny term and now I plan to use it at some point. Glad you enjoyed the series! I’ll be inviting people to play along this month so hope you’ll join me!! 😉💕💕😃❤️

  4. memadtwo 7 years ago

    Cat-bear-raccoon is just about right as a description. What a face! (again). Looking forward to your next adventure. (K)

    • Author

      Yeah…it’s totally like another mix of all different creatures. I like that in an animal! Hehe Thanks for joining me on this month’s adventure, Kerfe! Hope you’ll join me for this month’s adventure!! 😃💕

  5. debiriley 7 years ago

    darling! Another Outstanding Illustration Charlie!
    so cuddly and adorable, I love him 🙂 we see them in the zoo here and they are kind of cute

    • Author

      Awww thanks so much Debi!! 😃💕Glad you liked this one. They’re pretty much black in the front so I wasn’t sure what to do with that bit! 😊hehe

  6. Teresa Robeson 7 years ago

    I’m sad that this is the end of the uncommon creatures month and that this is also on the threatened species list. :-/ But thank you for taking us on this magical doodlewash journey! ❤️

    • Author

      Thanks for joining me Teresa!! 😃❤️Glad you liked this one!! Stick around! April starts today and hoping people will play with me! 😉

  7. Snehal Kank 7 years ago

    Owwa he’s saying goodbye! Loved this one too👍🏼

  8. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 7 years ago

    I think I saw a Red Panda waving good bye to me. He was so cute, I hope he returns.
    Thanks, Charlie, for a lot of fun seeing the endangered animal world through your lovely artwork.

  9. Teri C 7 years ago

    It’s been a great month for your art and our education. Thank you.

  10. Kari 7 years ago

    What a cutie! It looks very much like a raccoon! What a great month! I learned so much. Can’t wait for tomorrow! 😘

    • Author

      Thanks Kari!! 😃💕 Glad you liked this one! New adventure starts today and I’ll be inviting people to play along on this one!! Stay tuned!! 😉

  11. Aw, it’s waving goodbye! Great paintings this month,Charlie. I really loved this series.

    • Author

      Awww thanks Michael!! 😃I’m so happy you liked it! This month I’m hoping people play with me so stay tuned for the next post!! 😉

  12. Awww, I’m waving goodbye to this months amazing doodlewash too, but I don’t think I look as cute as this gorgeous panda….on the up, it’s the first of a new month, no pressure, your Irish luck will always make it good, can’t wait to see what it will be 😀

  13. kathiwerner 7 years ago

    Cute how he is waving at us. But who knows, red-panda-effect might work now around your followers. Actually, I saw some reddish cat-sized animal turning around the corner….

  14. artandmoondreams 7 years ago

    Another wonderful painting, love the soulful if not sorrowful eyes…and the uplifted paw has me all choked up at the moment. Love the painting, love the subject, just want to build a haven for red pandas in my parlor. Thank you for a fantastic journey Charlie…now I must find my box of tissues to dab my eyes. Looking forward to your next adventure.

    • Author

      Hehe! No tears! A new adventure awaits! Thanks so much Haunani!! Asking people to play with me in April, so stayed tuned for what’s next!! 😃💕

  15. Sharon Mann 7 years ago

    The Red Panda is a great way to end the month. I like how he is waving goodbye. Looking forward to today’s surprise.

    • Author

      Thanks so much Sharon!! 😃💕Glad you liked this adventure! This month I’m hoping to get some people to play along with me so stayed tuned for my post later! 😉

  16. Cathe 7 years ago

    Sweet red panda! I’m a little sad to end this journey, it’s been an excellent month with you Charlie! Lots of beautiful Doodlewashes! Thank you for your dedication!

    • Author

      Thanks so much Cathe!! 😃💕I really enjoyed this month and I’m glad you did too! For April I’m hoping to get people to play along with me, so stay tuned for what’s up next! 😉

  17. Jodi 7 years ago

    Such a cutie to end this fun journey. Looking forward to what is ahead. 😝

    • Author

      Thanks so much, Jodi!! 😃💕Glad you enjoyed this one, and hope you’ll join me for the next! No really… inviting people to join me this time! hehe… just posted it! 😉

      • Jodi 7 years ago

        can’t wait to go look! 🙂

  18. Curious to the Max 7 years ago

    Journey’s End

    Goodby, it’s time to fly
    say the critters of the sky
    Adios, ,yassou and so long
    say the creatures of the land
    let us thrive where we belong
    Adieu, ciao, let us be
    say the denizens of the sea
    All God’s creations enthrall
    those both great and small
    blessings from above
    Must be treated with love.

    Thank you Charlie ‘O
    for giving the endangered a voice
    in your beautiful watercolor show!

    • Author

      And this, my dear Judy is perhaps my favorite pome of all!!! Thanks so much for joining me on this adventure!! LOVE THIS! 💕😃

  19. itsmyhusbandandme 7 years ago

    I am catching up today. I love him – waving back from London.

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