I decided that since I’d been using the Firefox browser for over a year now, I would buy some stuff from the Mozilla store by way of contribution to their efforts. So a couple of weeks back I ordered a t-shirt and a little firefox plush toy, the former because I like having tons of t-shirts, and the latter because I thought it would be a good gag.

On Monday my order arrived, and although the t-shirt was as expected, the plush toy didn’t look too much like a fox. Workmate Adam said it looked more like a racoon, but then Adam’s eyesight was never too hot – unless this particular racoon had been wallowing in a chemical bath, this was just not the colour expected of a racoon.

When I introduced Fliss to the so-called fox on the way home, she was suspicious of the species from the get-go. Doing the sensible thing, she read the label to find the small print that said “red panda”.

A panda?

A red panda?!

I didn’t order no stinking panda… I ordered a fox. Something was rotten in cyberspace.

So I go back to the Mozilla store to find out that their picture of the plush toy was a good likeness of the one I’d been sent. Wow. The great red panda conspiracy was unfolding before my eyes. I was amazed that it could have gone this far without anyone else noticing that they were mailing people panda’s instead of foxes. And red panda’s at that.

I mailed the mozilla store, just to clarify that I’d ordered a fox and not a panda, and they sent me this hilarious but terse reply:
Please read the following factsheet regarding this mammal:

Red Pandas are found in the temperate forests of the Himalayas and some
high mountain areas of China and Myanmar (Burma).
The Chinese name for red panda is hunho or FIREFOX (name for the
browser), due to their colour and similar size to a fox. The soft plush red panda has a nice face and expressive eyes.
This information was posted next to the item in the store available for you to read.

We have gotten positive feedback about this mammal and we should have toys for animals that are facing extinction (don’t you think so?)
By the first line I was laughing my head off – it looks like I’m not the first person to wonder why they got a panda and not a fox. Thanks to some patient and humerous customer service, now I know there’s no conspiracy. :o)