Some rare animals are pleasing to the eye, while some are just outright scary. However, what makes these creatures uncommon is not how they look, but because only a few of them are left in the world.
These rare animals are not only uncommon because of their physical features, but they are also some of the most endangered species on the planet, and some of them may be gone forever soon.
15 extremely rare animals in the world
Here are 15 uncommon animals you have probably never seen before.
What is the rarest animal in the world? The Vaquita is the rarest animal in the world and the world’s rarest marine mammal. The sea creature is also known as the Gulf of California harbor porpoise, and they are found only in the Gulf of California.
First discovered in 1958, Vaquitas are the smallest species of porpoise. The longest living Vaquita was a female who lived for 21 years. Also, Vaquitas are on the edge of extinction, with only about 10 of the mammals left in the world.
2. The Bornean Orangutan
Found only on the island of Borneo, Bornean orangutans are some of the rarest animals in the world. They have the longest birth interval of any land mammal due to their females reproducing only every six to eight years.
Their physical features are slightly different from the Sumatran orangutans.
3. Giant Otter
These rare creatures are found only in South America. Giant Otters are the largest otters in the world, with some as long as 6 feet.
4. Amur Leopard
The solitary Amur leopard is one of the world's most endangered wild cats. It can weigh up to 120 pounds and can leap more than 19 feet. These creatures can run at a speed of about 37 miles per hour. It has a thick yellow or rusty orange coat with long, dense hair.
The leopard is extinct from China and the Korean Peninsula. It is now found only in the Amur River basin of eastern Russia. There are only about 60 of these leopards left in the wild.
5. Black-footed ferret
The black-footed ferret is the only ferret native to North America. They have tan bodies, black legs, and feet, and a black tip on their tail. Black-footed ferrets are carnivores; they feed mostly on prairie dogs.
Black-footed ferrets were thought to be extinct twice, but captive breeding and reintroduction into the wild have saved the animals from extinction.
6. Darwin’s Fox
Named after the famous scientist Charles Darwin, Darwin’s fox is found in the Nahuelbuta National Park and the island of Chiloè in Chile. Dark in color with short legs, this carnivorous creature is active mostly at twilight and dawn.
Darwin’s fox is an "umbrella species". This means that protecting them and their temperate forest homes helps preserve the entire ecosystem.
This animal was discovered in 1834 by Charles Darwin.
7. Sumatran Rhinoceros
The Sumatran Rhinoceros is the only Asian rhino with two horns. It is the smallest of the rhino family, living in isolated pockets of dense mountain forests in Malaysia, Indonesia, and possibly Myanmar.
They are covered in long hair, which helps keep mud caked to their bodies to cool them and protect them from insects.
8. Greater Bamboo Lemur
Greater Bamboo Lemurs are some of the most endangered animals in the world. They were thought to be extinct until scientists rediscovered a small population of the species in 1986.
They have the smallest Lemur population, with only about 100 documented individuals. As their name suggests, they eat mostly bamboos, and they are found in Madagascar’s rainforests.
Pangolins are solitary, nocturnal creatures with scales covering their bodies and long sticky tongues to slurp up food. They are about the size of a house cat and look a little bit like artichokes on legs. When threatened, they defend themselves by rolling up into a ball.
Pangolins are found in Asia and Africa. They are endangered because they are increasingly victims of wildlife crime for their meat and scales. They are believed to be the most trafficked mammal in the world.
This is one of the rarest animals in the world. First discovered in May 1992, the Saola is a rarely-seen, critically endangered mammal. It is so rare that scientists have only seen it in the wild four times.
Saolas are threatened by hunting and the continued cutting down of their habitat due to human activities.
How many Saolas are left in the world 2020? According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Saolas' total population is between 70 and 750 and declining. Also, about 100 Saolas are in protected areas.
The pika is a small mammal found in the Tianshan mountain range of the remote Xinjiang region of China, living on sloping bare rock faces and feeding on grasses at high elevations. The rare creature was first seen in 1983.
On July 9, 2014, a pika was photographed for the first time in more than two decades by Weidong Li, the conservationist who discovered it.
12. Peruvian Black Spider Monkey
Found in eastern South America north of the Amazon River, Peruvian Black Spider Monkeys are also known as red-faced or Guiana spider monkeys. They are relatively large, and their tails can be up to 3 feet long.
13. The Red Wolf
Red wolves are particularly known for their shyness and their penchant for mating for life. There are now only around 25 to 40 left in the wild, and they all live in Eastern North Carolina.
14. White-rumped vulture
One of the three critically endangered species of vulture is the white-rumped vulture. According to IUCN, the White-rumped vulture has suffered a catastrophic decline across the Indian subcontinent.
Over 99% of its population has been wiped out since the 1980s, making it the fastest declining bird species in recorded history.
15. Hainan Gibbon
There are only about 28 Hainan gibbon apes left in the entire world. These apes are native to China and they are on the verge of being extinct.
What is the rarest animal in Africa?
If you are expecting Africa's rarest animal to be a vicious looking creature, then, you are in for a surprise.
The Tsessebe is one of the funniest looking of the African antelopes, and also the fastest. Tsessebes can be found in Zambia, Zimbabwe, north-east Namibia, northern Botswana, Kruger area of South Africa, and Swaziland.
They can also be found in Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Critically endangered animals
There are over 30 million animal species in the world. However, many of these species are at risk of extinction due to humans consuming them, hunting them, using them for fashion, etc.
Here are some of the most endangered animal species in the world today.
1. Ivory-Billed Woodpecker
The Ivory-Billed Woodpecker is the most critically endangered species out there. It lives in the Southeastern US and parts of Cuba. It is a huge woodpecker that was extinct until 2004. World Wildlife Fund issued the statement following reports that the ivory-billed woodpecker has been found in Arkansas, 60 years after it was believed to have gone extinct.
Even now, there are only a handful of the woodpeckers that are still around. It is a very vulnerable animal.
2. The Amur Leopard
The Amur Leopard is a rare leopard found only in northern Russia’s Primorye region. At one time, the leopard was also found in Korea and China, but it is obsolete in those areas.
According to Census records, there are only 84 and some more adult Amur leopards in existence in the world today.
3. The Javan Rhinoceros
The Javan Rhinoceros is another of the top endangered species out of the five rhino species. There are an estimated 58-68 rhinos still alive today, those residing in Indonesia in the Ujung Kulon National Park.
This animal once lived throughout northeast India and Southeast Asia. Vietnam’s last Javan rhino was poached in 2010. The animal is so desired because of its horn.
What is the rarest bird in the world?
The rarest bird in the world is a specie of duck called the Madagascar pochard. Madagascar pochards were believed to have become extinct when they were not seen for 15 years. Interestingly, a small group of these birds was rediscovered in 2006.
These were the last 25 Madagascar pochards on the planet, and in an effort towards the recovery of this species, three clutches eggs were taken from the birds. The eggs were incubated and hatched, then they were moved to a safe place.
In 2018, an international team of researchers successfully released 21 of the birds into the wild.
With the yearly drop in the population of many rare animals globally, many of these creatures may become extinct in a few years.
READ ALSO: Rare Gorillas thought to be extinct are found with babies in Nigeria
Legit.ng reported that conservationists have captured rare images of the Cross River Gorillas with multiple babies in the Mbe mountains. The images are proof that the subspecies once feared to be extinct are reproducing amid protection efforts.
The gorillas' conservation efforts were started by a University of New York Primatologist John Oatesmore more than two decades ago.