14 Wild Animal Species You Never Knew Were Endangered

Just because you see them at the zoo doesn't mean they're doing all right in the wild.

Orangutans

Orangutan Portrait. Portrait of the adult male of the adult orangutan in the wild nature. Island Borneo. Indonesia.Sergey Uryadnikov/Shutterstock

There are three species of orangutans: Bornean, ones that prefer the ground over the trees; Sumatran, which have longer facial hair and develop closer bonds with each other; and Tapanuli, which inhabit only a single forest in Sumatra. A century ago, their global population was more than 230,000. Now there are about 104,700 Bornean (critically endangered status), 7,500 Sumatran (critically endangered status), and only 800 Tapanuli orangutans left. But there is still hope because these 16 incredible animals came back from the brink of extinction!

Giraffes

A wild giraffe walk though the brushwood grasslands in Giraffe centre in Nairobi KenyaTingHelder/Shutterstock

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) has put some giraffes at a critically endangered status. There are only 4,000 Kordofan and Nubian giraffes left, according to the IUCN. The reticulated giraffe is also listed as endangered. The giraffe population has declined primarily due to loss of habitat, civil unrest, and poaching. Some giraffes are killed just for their tails, which are considered status symbols in parts of Africa.

Tigers

Tiger, portrait of a bengal tiger.Denise Allison Coyle/Shutterstock

All six tiger species are endangered, with Sumatran and South China tigers at a critically endangered status. Some scientists even consider the South China tiger to be "functionally extinct" since it hasn't been seen in the wild in more than 25 years. The main reasons for their population decline are poaching and destroyed habitats, as humans clear forests to gather timber and build roadways. Only about 3,890 tigers currently live in the wild. Check out these common "facts" about animals that you have all wrong.

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