These Photos of Baby Endangered Animals Will Wake Up Your Inner Activist
These Photos of Baby Endangered Animals Will Wake Up Your Inner Activist
Taronga Zoo's new addition, an infant male endangered François's langur named Gan Ju, clings to his mother Saigon at Taronga Zoo on May 7, 2010 in Sydney, Australia. Born on April 22 to mother Saigon and father Hanoi, Gan Ju is the first male Langur, or François' leaf monkey, to be born in Australia and the first to be raised by its mother. According to Taronga Zoo, a recent census showed there may be as few as 1000 François' langurs in the wild as a result of loss of habitat and poaching despite once being wide-spread in their native Vietnam and China. (Lorinda Taylor/Taronga Zoo via Getty Images)

Taronga Zoo's new addition, an infant male endangered François's langur named Gan Ju, clings to his mother Saigon at Taronga Zoo on May 7, 2010 in Sydney, Australia. Born on April 22 to mother Saigon and father Hanoi, Gan Ju is the first male Langur, or François' leaf monkey, to be born in Australia and the first to be raised by its mother. According to Taronga Zoo, a recent census showed there may be as few as 1000 François' langurs in the wild as a result of loss of habitat and poaching despite once being wide-spread in their native Vietnam and China. (Lorinda Taylor/Taronga Zoo via Getty Images)

Little Siberian tiger Dragan makes its way through the snow in its enclosure at the zoo in Eberswalde, eastern Germany, on Jan. 31, 2015. Dragan was born on Oct. 7, 2014, and belongs to the most endangered species of the Amur tigers. (PATRICK PLEUL/AFP/Getty Images)

Little Siberian tiger Dragan makes its way through the snow in its enclosure at the zoo in Eberswalde, eastern Germany, on Jan. 31, 2015. Dragan was born on Oct. 7, 2014, and belongs to the most endangered species of the Amur tigers. (PATRICK PLEUL/AFP/Getty Images)

A woman feeds an elephant with milk in the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, north-eastern of Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Jan. 18, 2015. The Sri Lankan elephant is listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural resources (IUCN) as the population has declined by at least 50 percent over the last three generations, with the species threatened by habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation. (Ishara S.KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

A woman feeds an elephant with milk in the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, north-eastern of Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Jan. 18, 2015. The Sri Lankan elephant is listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural resources (IUCN) as the population has declined by at least 50 percent over the last three generations, with the species threatened by habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation. (Ishara S.KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

A baby mountain Gorilla, member of the Agashya family, is pictured in Mt. Sabyinyo in Rwanda on Dec. 27, 2014. Rwanda is well known for mountain gorillas, an endangered species found only in the border areas between Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo and hosted more than a million visitors between 2006-13, generating from the national parks alone $75 million in tourism revenue in that time; 85 percent of this is from trekkers who come to see some of the country's 500 gorillas. (Ivan Lieman/AFP/Getty Images)

A baby mountain Gorilla, member of the Agashya family, is pictured in Mt. Sabyinyo in Rwanda on Dec. 27, 2014. Rwanda is well known for mountain gorillas, an endangered species found only in the border areas between Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo and hosted more than a million visitors between 2006-13, generating from the national parks alone $75 million in tourism revenue in that time; 85 percent of this is from trekkers who come to see some of the country's 500 gorillas. (Ivan Lieman/AFP/Getty Images)

In this photograph taken on April 10, 2013, an endangered Sumatran orangutan with a baby clings on tree branches in the forest of Bukit Lawang, part of the vast Leuser National Park, its rain forests occupying areas of the two provinces of North Sumatra and Aceh located in Indonesia's Sumatra island. Alarm is growing at a plan that would open up new swathes of forest on Sumatra island to mining, palm oil, and paper companies, which could put orangutans and other critically endangered species at even greater risk. (ROMEO GACAD/AFP/Getty Images)

In this photograph taken on April 10, 2013, an endangered Sumatran orangutan with a baby clings on tree branches in the forest of Bukit Lawang, part of the vast Leuser National Park, its rain forests occupying areas of the two provinces of North Sumatra and Aceh located in Indonesia's Sumatra island. Alarm is growing at a plan that would open up new swathes of forest on Sumatra island to mining, palm oil, and paper companies, which could put orangutans and other critically endangered species at even greater risk. (ROMEO GACAD/AFP/Getty Images)

A five-day-old female Rhinoceros baby named Akili stands next to her mother Ine in their enclosure at the zoo in Berlin on Aug. 10, 2012. The young animal born on Aug. 6 at the zoo belongs to the Black rhinoceros species, which is native to the eastern and central areas of Africa and classified as critically endangered. (DAVID GANNON/AFP/GettyImages)

A five-day-old female Rhinoceros baby named Akili stands next to her mother Ine in their enclosure at the zoo in Berlin on Aug. 10, 2012. The young animal born on Aug. 6 at the zoo belongs to the Black rhinoceros species, which is native to the eastern and central areas of Africa and classified as critically endangered. (DAVID GANNON/AFP/GettyImages)

Ugandan giraffe

Ugandan giraffe "Shahni" licks her 20-day-old daughter on Sept. 15, 2010, in their enclosure at the zoo in Hanover, central Germany. The baby giraffe is the 50th giraffe born at the zoo. In the wild, Ugandan giraffes also known as Rothschild's giraffes are an endangered species. (HOLGER HOLLEMANN/AFP/Getty Images)

A picture taken on June 19, 2010, shows a one month baby snow leopard (Panthera uncia) born at the Parc des Félins, a wildlife park located in Nesles, a suburb outside Paris. This park is dedicated to the preservation of endangered cats, including the snow leopard, a seriously threatened species with only 4000 remaining in the wild. (CATHERINE GUGELMANN/AFP/Getty Images)

A picture taken on June 19, 2010, shows a one month baby snow leopard (Panthera uncia) born at the Parc des Félins, a wildlife park located in Nesles, a suburb outside Paris. This park is dedicated to the preservation of endangered cats, including the snow leopard, a seriously threatened species with only 4000 remaining in the wild. (CATHERINE GUGELMANN/AFP/Getty Images)

A Greater bamboo lemur, called Sorja, carries her one-month-old baby on May 19, 2010 at the Besançon Zoo, eastern France. The Greater Bamboo Lemur, a species endemic to Madagascar, is one of the world's most endangered primates, with only 20 examples in captivity all over the world. (JEFF PACHOUD/AFP/Getty Images)

A Greater bamboo lemur, called Sorja, carries her one-month-old baby on May 19, 2010 at the Besançon Zoo, eastern France. The Greater Bamboo Lemur, a species endemic to Madagascar, is one of the world's most endangered primates, with only 20 examples in captivity all over the world. (JEFF PACHOUD/AFP/Getty Images)

A female anteater (Tamandua tetradactyla) carries her baby at the zoo in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on March 9, 2010. The baby is the first to be born of their species in captivity in the zoo. According to biologists, the anteater is at risk of extinction. (VANDERLEI ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)

A female anteater (Tamandua tetradactyla) carries her baby at the zoo in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on March 9, 2010. The baby is the first to be born of their species in captivity in the zoo. According to biologists, the anteater is at risk of extinction. (VANDERLEI ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)

A baby hippopotamus named Kumba is pictured next to its mother Mara on Oct. 14, 2009, at the Zoo d'Amnéville, eastern France. The baby, which weights 110 lbs, was born on Oct. 11, 2009. Hippopotamus are considered as an endangered species due to deforestation, the deterioration of the swamp, and grassland ecosystems and hippo teeth trading. (JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN/AFP/Getty Images)

A baby hippopotamus named Kumba is pictured next to its mother Mara on Oct. 14, 2009, at the Zoo d'Amnéville, eastern France. The baby, which weights 110 lbs, was born on Oct. 11, 2009. Hippopotamus are considered as an endangered species due to deforestation, the deterioration of the swamp, and grassland ecosystems and hippo teeth trading. (JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN/AFP/Getty Images)

Picture of a baby antelope (Addax nasomaculatus) from North Africa taken at Lecocq zoo park in Montevideo on Aug. 26, 2009. It is estimated that only about 200 wild antelopes live in northern Africa, while around 1000 live in captivity in zoos and parks around the globe. Lecocq park is the third zoo in the world, after one in Texas and another in San Diego, with more specimen of Addax nasomaculatus, with the 28 of them being cared for under a conservation project for endangered species. (MIGUEL ROJO/AFP/Getty Images)

Picture of a baby antelope (Addax nasomaculatus) from North Africa taken at Lecocq zoo park in Montevideo on Aug. 26, 2009. It is estimated that only about 200 wild antelopes live in northern Africa, while around 1000 live in captivity in zoos and parks around the globe. Lecocq park is the third zoo in the world, after one in Texas and another in San Diego, with more specimen of Addax nasomaculatus, with the 28 of them being cared for under a conservation project for endangered species. (MIGUEL ROJO/AFP/Getty Images)

A two-week old baby cotton-top tamarin monkey rests on the back of its father at the Jerusalem Zoo on Nov. 10, 2008. The Cottontop Tamarin can now only be found in the tropical forests of Colombia. The species is critically endangered, with less than 1000 in the wild and only about 1800 in captivity. (JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)

A two-week old baby cotton-top tamarin monkey rests on the back of its father at the Jerusalem Zoo on Nov. 10, 2008. The Cottontop Tamarin can now only be found in the tropical forests of Colombia. The species is critically endangered, with less than 1000 in the wild and only about 1800 in captivity. (JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)

"Indah" the eight week old female binturong cub explores her enclosure for the first time at the "Wild Asia" exhibit at Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia, on May 30, 2007. "Indah" is the first binturong to be bred at the zoo since their first display at the zoo in the 1950s. The binturong, also known as a "bear-cat" is found in south-east Asia, Malaysia, and Indonesia and are highly endangered due to their habitats destruction and poaching for a delicacy and medicine. (Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

An orangutan and infant are seen at Ragunan Zoo's

An orangutan and infant are seen at Ragunan Zoo's "Schmutzer Primate Center" on Feb. 15, 2007, in Jakarta, Indonesia. (Dimas Ardian /Getty Images)

Rare and endangered snow leopard kittens Tom (L) and Jerry, the first born at the Los Angeles Zoo in 22 years, go on public display on Sept. 7, 2006, in Los Angeles, California. Snow leopards are extremely rare and difficult to observe in their remote and wild habitat in the mountains of Asia where it is estimated that 5,000 to 7,000 still survive. Snow leopards normally prey on rodents, deer, and wild mountain sheep and goats but due to recent depletion of their natural prey, many have begun to prey on domestic animals, bringing them into closer contact with humans and increasing their chance of being hunted. (David McNew/Getty Images)

Rare and endangered snow leopard kittens Tom (L) and Jerry, the first born at the Los Angeles Zoo in 22 years, go on public display on Sept. 7, 2006, in Los Angeles, California. Snow leopards are extremely rare and difficult to observe in their remote and wild habitat in the mountains of Asia where it is estimated that 5,000 to 7,000 still survive. Snow leopards normally prey on rodents, deer, and wild mountain sheep and goats but due to recent depletion of their natural prey, many have begun to prey on domestic animals, bringing them into closer contact with humans and increasing their chance of being hunted. (David McNew/Getty Images)

Mouila, a female western lowland gorilla, carries baby Mbeli at Taronga Zoo in Sydney on Jan. 13, 2005. (TORSTEN BLACKWOOD/AFP/Getty Images)

Mouila, a female western lowland gorilla, carries baby Mbeli at Taronga Zoo in Sydney on Jan. 13, 2005. (TORSTEN BLACKWOOD/AFP/Getty Images)

A baby Buergers' tree kangaroo at the San Diego Zoo on Jan. 31, 2003, in San Diego, Calif. The endangered species of tree kangaroo is native to Papua New Guinea. The joey plays a critical role in the Tree Kangaroo Species Survival Plan, a breeding program that has worked to ensure the long-term survivability of the species since 1977. (Zoological Society of San Diego/Getty Images)

A baby Buergers' tree kangaroo at the San Diego Zoo on Jan. 31, 2003, in San Diego, Calif. The endangered species of tree kangaroo is native to Papua New Guinea. The joey plays a critical role in the Tree Kangaroo Species Survival Plan, a breeding program that has worked to ensure the long-term survivability of the species since 1977. (Zoological Society of San Diego/Getty Images)

Baby pygmy hippopotamus

Baby pygmy hippopotamus "Lani" walks on a path at the Basel Zoo in Basel, Switzerland, on May 17, 2014. It has been 14 years since a baby pygmy hippopotamus was last born at Basel Zoo. Lani came into the world on March 18, when it was still a little cold for her outside. Now, she joins her mother in the outdoor enclosure on warm, sunny days. Lani is one around 135 pygmy hippopotamuses in the European Endangered Species Programme. (FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

A volunteer carries a baby red howler monkey (Alouatta seniculus), during its recovery at the Santa Fe zoo in Medellin, Antioquia department, Colombia, on Dec. 17, 2013. Eight monkeys who had been under the care of the Santa Fe zoo as part of a wildlife conservation program after they were torn away from their families in the forests and sold by traffickers to travelers within the country, were released into the wild. The red howler monkeys are an endangered species, which makes them attractive to wildlife traders. (RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images)

A volunteer carries a baby red howler monkey (Alouatta seniculus), during its recovery at the Santa Fe zoo in Medellin, Antioquia department, Colombia, on Dec. 17, 2013. Eight monkeys who had been under the care of the Santa Fe zoo as part of a wildlife conservation program after they were torn away from their families in the forests and sold by traffickers to travelers within the country, were released into the wild. The red howler monkeys are an endangered species, which makes them attractive to wildlife traders. (RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images)

There are now 6,264 endangered animal species on Earth, 2,524 of which are critically endangered, according to the Red List of Threatened Species managed by International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN).

The problem is, just presenting the numbers tends not to carry much impact. 

For example, the Red List also includes 32 animals that are now extinct in the wild, but still surviving in captivity, such as Scimitar oryx or Père David’s deer.

At least everyone has an idea of what a deer looks like and probably wouldn’t want a whole species of them to disappear.

Yet probably nothing is more compelling than looking at the babies of the very species that are on the brink of extinction—almost certainly because of human activity.

Indeed, the usual suspects among causes of extinction are fragmentation, deforestation, and hunting—all well within the human purview.

And so it is that 731 animal species are now categorized as extinct.

Yet there is also good news to report.

Many endangered species have been successfully bred in captivity and later reintroduced into the wild. Many more have such initiatives underway.

The last couple dozens of Père David’s deer, for example, were wiped out during the Boxer Rebellion in China at the onset of the 20th century. Yet a few of them were sneaked to Europe before that, gathered by Herbrand Russell, 11th Duke of Bedford, and nurtured into a herd by his descendants until they were reintroduced to China in 1985. Now, though still managed in captivity, there are thousands of Père David’s deer strolling the Middle Kingdom again.

And so the lesson reads that by human hands the treasures of nature may not only perish but flourish as well.

× close
Top