From prehistoric-looking birds to the new generation of felines, here are ten wild animals that have rarely ever been seen.
10. Shoebill Storks The Shoebill stork is quite an intimidating bird! It looks like something out of a 90s animated movie, not a real live animal that’s walking around in the world right now. These large birds have a very direct look on their face. Also known as the whale headed stork, they are native to the wetlands of Central and East Africa.
9. Polka-Dotted Zebra In 2019, a photographer named Frank Liu captured an incredible sight in Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve. While he was looking for rhinos, he saw a zebra foal, or youngling, with a striking kind of colouration. Zebras wear their stripes like a badge of honour, and they can be so unique as to identify them individually.
8. Red Panda Pandas are some of the cutest, rarest bears on the planet. The most popular incarnation of a panda comes in the form of the giant panda, with its emblematic black and white colour scheme and love for bamboo. The heavily endangered red panda is not exactly a bear, but still a bamboo lover. Have you ever seen one of these? Aren’t they adorable??
7. Bracken Bat Cave Meshweaver Spider The Bracken bat cave in Texas serves as a place of rest during the summer months to the most populous bat colony on earth. But there is another species hidden within its depths that are having a much harder time staying alive than the local bats The Bracken bat cave meshweaver spiders hadn’t been spotted for around 30 years until 2012, when a cave full of them was discovered in San Antonio, Texas.
6. Florida Panther There aren’t many pumas east of the Mississippi River. In fact, there are only one known species of puma in this eastern region; the Florida panther. Also known as a cougar or mountain lion, this panther used to flourish in the Southeast.
5. Visayan Spotted Deer Depending on where you live, deer seem pretty common, but some deer are harder to find than others. In particular, the Visayan spotted deer (or just ‘Philippines spotted deer’), named for the Visayan Islands in the central Philippines which is the only place they live, are few and far between.
4. White Lion The lion is the king of the jungle, but some lions stand above the rest and take on an almost mythological quality. For that matter, consider the incredible white lions. In fact, they’re not a different species of a lion at all, belonging to the same classification of lions Panthera leo. But their appearance inspires great reverence and honour.
3. Quoll These tiny marsupials almost went extinct, but a small population of northern quolls survived in Tasmania and they were reintroduced to mainland Australia in 2018. Quolls are nocturnal and will eat just about anything, insects, carrion, birds, and they are tough! They will hunt animals larger than themselves and will even snatch food from a Tasmanian Devil, according to Wade Anthony, founder of the Devil’s Cradle animal sanctuary in Tasmania, where some of the recently released quolls were bred.
2. Saber-Toothed Beaked Whale Saber-toothed tigers went out of existence long ago, but there are still sabre-toothed creatures on the earth… just not maybe where you would expect to find them. That title belongs to the sabre-toothed beaked whale or Stejneger’s beaked whale. There haven’t been many sightings of this whale, but when they’ve been spotted or washed ashore, they’ve drawn researchers from around the world due to their strange and unique features.
1. Liliger Napoleon Dynamite waxed poetic about his favourite animal, the liger, which is the offspring of a female tiger and a male lion. These are rare enough on their own. But what about the next generation? The offspring of a male lion and a female liger, that are fittingly referred to as liligers.