Jan 15 2016

7 Extinct Animals That May Still Be Alive

These 7 animals were once declared extinct, but they might still be alive according to recent discoveries in secluded parts of this mysterious earth.


The Eastern Cougar is a unique case. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services declared this species extinct in 2011 and said that it has been extinct since the 1930s, yet Canada has not followed suit where it remains free from the title of extinct. These large cats are North America’s largest cat and are capable of taking down large prey such as white-tailed deer and moose. Many Eastern Cougar sightings are dismissed as the common North American Cougar, of which the Eastern Cougar is a subspecies. At this point, it is unknown the exact status of this animal’s existence.
Species: Eastern Cougar (Puma concolor couguar)
Location: Eastern United States and Canada
Size: Up to 30 inches (76 centimeters) tall and up to 100 kg
Date Last Seen: 1930s
Why They Were Thought Extinct? No-one has seen them since the 1930s
How Could They Still Be Alive? There have been sightings that are often dismissed as a different species of cougar travelling East.
Cause of Extinction: Over hunting


The Japanese River Otter was an enthusiastic, energetic animal that lived over most of Japan. The Environmental Agency of Japan led expeditions in the early 1990s that proved fruitful for hair, footprints, and fecal matter from an otter, however, no animals were seen or captured. It was declared extinct in 2013 but the people have not given up hope on finding these mischievous animals alive.
Species: Japanese River Otter (Lutra lutra whiteleyi)
Location: Japan
Size: 25-31 inches (65-80 centimeters) long
Date Last Seen: 1979
Why They Were Thought Extinct? Has not been seen since 1979
How Could They Still Be Alive? There have been sightings as recently as 2013 of these animals
Cause of Extinction: Trapping for fur, habitat loss, and lack of food due to pollution.


The Tasmanian Tiger was known as Australia’s largest natural predator. This “tiger” was not a cat, however, as the name would suggest. It looked and acted much more like a dog. It was referred to as a tiger due to the distinct striping on its back and tail. It was another of Australia’s marsupials and was the size of a Rough Collie although with significantly less hair. These animals were excellent at avoiding detection and capture, and there have been reported sightings as late as February 2005. While talks of restoring these animals through cloning have been common at times, it has not been successfully attempted to this point in time.
Species: Tasmanian Tiger (Thylacinus cynocephalus)
Location: Australia, New Guinea, and Tasmania.
Size: 24 inches (60 centimeters) tall, and 40-70 pounds (20-30 kilograms)
Date Last Seen: 1936
Why They Were Thought Extinct? Had not been seen for 50 years
How Could They Still Be Alive? There are plenty of uninhabited areas of Australia and New Guinea and the Tasmanian Tiger is adept at hiding.
Cause of Extinction: Extreme hunting and competition for food


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The Javan Tiger was a relatively small tiger yet still the height of a Great Dane and twice the weight. These large cats were found on the small Indonesian island of Java where they were hunted mercilessly to make room for farming. Unfortunately, by the time the government decided to do something about it and set up reserves the tiger was already too far on its path to extinction to pull itself back together. While some sightings of prints and claw marks have been seen, there has been little conclusive evidence to support a possible survival for these animals.
Species: Javan Tiger (Panthera tigris sondaica)
Location: Java, Indonesia
Size: 31-43 inches (80-110 centimeters) at the shoulder, and up to 311 pounds (141 kilograms)
Date Last Seen: 1979
Why They Were Thought Extinct? Not seen for many years despite expeditions searching for them
How Could They Still Be Alive? They are excellent at hiding and avoiding people
Cause of Extinction: Humans killing them off for farming and lack of prey


The Plesiosaurs were large, aquatic reptiles that were known for living in the oceans, lakes, and other bodies of water around the world. Many people wonder if these animals could give explaination to claims such as the Loch Ness Monster, the Ogopogo, and other water “monsters.” As the ocean is vast and highly unexplored, it is possible that these animals have managed to avoid detection thus far and could still be alive.
Species: Plesiosaur
Location: Bodies of water
Size: Unknown
Date Last Seen: Unknown
Why They Were Thought Extinct? They have only found fossil remains
How Could They Still Be Alive? The ocean is one of the least explored areas on Earth
Cause of Extinction: Unknown


The Woolly Mammoth is one of the most iconic Ice Age mammals known to almost all children thanks to a series of movies with a Woolly Mammoth as the main protagonist. These animals were the size of a large elephant but were covered in long, dense hair and had gigantic tusks made of ivory. While there is some talk of resurrecting this magnificent beast through cloning, that is currently not possible as all specimens have been too degraded to be used. That, in combination with ethics, has prevented mammoth cloning at this point. However, there have been reports that Woolly Mammoths may still be living in Northern Russia and that they have not been found until now because of the remote nature of the area. As of yet, it has been unproven.
Species: Woolly Mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius)
Location: Siberia, Eastern Asia, and Alaska
Size: Up to 11 feet (3.4 meters) and 4 tons
Date Last Seen: 1,800 Years Ago
Why They Were Thought Extinct? No further appearances
How Could They Still Be Alive? Remote areas of Siberia that are untouched by humans
Cause of Extinction: Lack of food


These large apes were believed to have gone extinct over 100,000 years ago, yet some people wonder if small groups of them survived and are now known as Bigfoot. Over 1 ½ times the height of an average human man, and almost 10 times the weight, these large primates would have been immensely strong. Unfortunately, little is known about them at this time.
Species: Gigantopithecus blacki
Location: China, India, and Vietnam
Size: 9.8 feet (3 meters) tall and up to 1,190 pounds (540 kilograms)
Date Last Seen: n/a
Why They Were Thought Extinct? Only remains have been found
How Could They Still Be Alive? Some have wondered if these giant apes are what others interpret as Bigfoot
Cause of Extinction: Unknown