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21 Endangered Animals That Are Total Badasses

Some are cute, some are scaly, all are fierce AF — and they all need our help. For more badass conservation efforts, tune into The Operatives Sundays at 10e/p, only on Pivot.

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1. Slow Loris

Ed Wray / Getty Images

Why they're badass: They're venomous. Their bite secretes a toxin that, while not technically fatal to humans, can cause an allergic reaction that could cause anaphylactic shock. Their popularity as pets has risen in recent years, and oftentimes they'll have their teeth pulled without anesthetic after capture. Many die in captivity, and their numbers in the wild are dwindling.

2. Siberian / Amur Tiger

Oli Scarff / AFP / Getty Images

Why they're badass: Siberian tigers are the largest big cat species. Their fur is suited for all habitats, hence why they originate in Russia but can live anywhere. But only about 540 remain living in the world. Also? They've been known to eat bears. BEARS.

3. Philippine Eagle

Patricio Robles Gil / Getty Images

Why they're badass: This is the biggest eagle in the world; it measures over three feet tall with a wingspan of up to seven feet. They're also called "monkey-eating eagles," and we'll let you guess why. It's one of the most powerful and rare birds in the world and the national bird of the Philippines.

4. Sumatran Rhinoceros

Joel Sartore / Getty Images

Why they're badass: While the fur-covered Sumatran rhino might be smaller than its African relatives, they are the most closely related to the extinct wooly rhinos than any other rhino species. Due to their horns being used in Eastern medicine, the Sumatran rhino's numbers have dwindled into the double digits.

5. Orangutan

Romeo Gacad / AFP / Getty Images

Why they're badass: Orangutans have a long call that can reach up to 1.2 miles away. They have highly mobile hips and pelvic areas, which makes them killer at yoga. Their primary habitat is trees, and deforestation has swiftly put them on the endangered list.

6. Pygmy Hippopotamus

Fairfax Media / Getty Images

Why they're badass: Pygmy hippos closely resemble their larger cousins, but these semi-aquatic nocturnal animals are so good at hiding that they're difficult to study in the wild. Much of what is known about them is derived from studying captive pygmy hippos.

7. Yangtze Finless Porpoise

Why they're badass: Commonly found in the Yangtze River in China, they're one of the few remaining freshwater dolphins in existence, and they lack a dorsal fin usually found on other dolphins. After another freshwater dolphin, the baiji, went extinct in the past decade, conservation efforts for these guys have increased drastically.

8. Tasmanian Devil

Brendon Thorne / Getty Images

Why they're badass: As the only carnivorous marsupials, these guys have badassness to spare. Tasmanian devils are famous for their grouchy dispositions and have been known to fly into a snarling rage if they feel threatened. Since 2001, a facial tumor disease has killed off 60% of the devil population. The Australian government has sequestered populations not yet affected by the disease, but the animal is still listed as "vulnerable."

9. Pangolin

Why they're badass: Pangolins are born with scales that start out soft when they're born and grow increasingly hard and sharp with age. They use these to deflect predators by curling into a ball, which actually works. Pangolin mothers also carry their offspring around on their tail, which is both efficient and adorable.

10. Northern Bald Ibis

Jose Luis Roca / AFP / Getty Images

Why they're badass: These birds — which are normally found in Northern Africa and Turkey — were once thought to act as guides leading Hajj pilgrims to Mecca. Their looks are not indicative of their smarts; they build nests into the sides of cliffs, and modern conservation efforts have been aiding this by building ledges for them and adding protective measures against predators.

11. Polar Bear

Freek Van Den Bergh / AFP / Getty Images

Why they're badass: Polar bears' white fur is gorgeous and perfect camouflage; it makes it easy for them to hunt in the snow and ice so that they can go unseen by their prey. Unfortunately, the diminishing ice in their natural habitats is making it difficult for these bears to hunt, and now the species has been labeled endangered.

12. African Grey Crowned Crane

Raul Arboleda / AFP / Getty Images

Why they're badass: They're known for dancing. They mostly dance for breeding displays, but also sometimes just when they feel like it. Both males and females dance, and sometimes babies get in on it too. Also dat hair.

13. Asiatic Lion

Indranil Mukherjee / AFP / Getty Images

Why they're badass: Asiatic lions once roamed from the Middle East to India. Fossils and bones have been found that date back nearly 600,000 years. Though once on the brink of extinction, now 200–250 lions live in the Gir Forest Preserve in India.

14. Golden Lion Tamarin

Bernd Thissen / AFP / Getty Images

Why they're badass: The golden lion tamarin has sharp claw-like nails as opposed to the flat, rounded nails of other primates. Because of this, tamarins have more similar movement characteristics to squirrels. Due to deforestation and loss of habitat, there are now fewer than 500 of these bright orange primates left in the wild.

15. South American Jaguar

Jean-christophe Verhaegen / AFP / Getty Images

Why they're badass: The largest felines in the Americas, jaguars are an apex species, which means they reside at the top of their food chain. Jaguars' numbers have dwindled over the years due to hunting and loss of habitat. Once roaming much of the Southwestern United States, very few are left in the U.S., and the species is now considered "near threatened."

16. Blue Whale

Mark Carwardine / Getty Images

Why they're badass: They're the largest mammals on Earth and have very few predators. They can move up to 20 miles per hour and can live for up to 110 years. Unfortunately, the greatest threat to these animals are run-ins with ships that injure and kill many every year.

17. Bactrian Camel

David Santiago Garcia / Getty Images

Why they're badass: Bactrian camels can live in many climates, from blistering heat to freezing cold. They weather rocky terrain, arid desert, and are excellent swimmers. So basically they are some tough animals. Though many camels are kept domestically, the number of wild camels is dwindling.

18. Iberian Lynx

Richard Kemp / Getty Images

Why they're badass: The Iberian lynx is known as a "rabbit specialist" in that the main source of its food is European rabbit. This became a major issue when a disease wiped out a large portion of the European rabbit population over the past 50 years. Once found all across Spain, only a handful of Iberian lynx exist today on the Iberian Peninsula. If they go extinct, they'll be the first feline species to do so since prehistoric times.

19. Axolotl

The Sydney Morning Herald / Getty Images

Why they're badass: Axolotls are regenerating machines; they're able to grow new limbs, jaws, and spines with little to no scarring. While there were 6,000 wild axolotls present in a 1998 study, more recent studies have been hard-pressed to find any.

20. Mexican Gray Wolf

Joel Sartore / Getty Images

Why they're badass: Oh no reason, they're just wolves. Mexican gray wolves were all but wiped by the 1970s, but through concentrated conservation efforts, they've been slowly reintroduced into the southwestern United States. Scientists predict that if the species continues to survive, they can help balance the ecosystem in the area.

21. Palawan Turtle / Philippine Forest Turtle

Pierre Fidenci / CC BY-SA 2.5 / Via calphotos.berkeley.edu

Why they're badass: Maybe the most resilient turtle in the world, these freshwater turtles' numbers in the wild had dwindled to critically endangered territory until over 3,800 were found stashed in a shipping container in China, intended to be sold as pets. Most were released back in to the wild and around a thousand were treated for dehydration and injuries.

Want to help? Visit The Operativeswildlife website to learn more and take action. And tune into the all new season of The Operatives Sundays at 10e/p, only on Pivot.

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