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The Animals That Roam This Earth

This Earth Day let's celebrate some of the special animals that share our home!


No matter your age, there’s nothing cooler than seeing an exotic animal in its natural habitat. That first time you see a lion hunting alongside its pride or a whale gliding through the ocean, you can’t help but be giddy with childlike excitement. Your heart beats a little faster and your eyes grow a little wider as the creatures of storybooks and movies come alive right in front of you. If you share our love for wildlife, you know exactly what we’re talking about. Below read about 45 animals around the world and where to see them.


AFRICA

When you hear Africa, you can’t help but think of the exotic wildlife and safari experience. A trip to this incredible continent should be on every bucket list, whether you love animals, love culture, or love cuisine – it has it all!

Lions

The “king of the jungle” is on everyone’s must-see list. Simba and his family live in the grasslands and savannahs of sub-Saharan Africa. Head to Tanzania, Kenya, Botswana, or South Africa to see these majestic creatures.


African Elephant

As the largest land animal on the earth, an elephant won’t be hard to miss! African elephants grow to about 13 feet tall and weigh thousands of pounds. Both male and female African elephants have tusks, and they use them to dig for food. They live in the same area as lions – sub-Saharan Africa.


Cheetah

Cheetahs are the fastest mammals on the earth, and can go from 0-60mph in 3 seconds, putting Speedy Gonzalez to shame. It is incredible to see one moving full speed! Cheetahs can be found in sub-Saharan Africa and Iran.

Rhinoceros

There are two types of rhinos found in Africa: black rhino and white rhino. The former can be found in South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Kenya; the latter is found mainly in South Africa but also Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe. Rhinos are a prime poaching target and are critically endangered as a result. The Rhinos Without Borders project is relocating rhinos from South Africa to Botswana (this country has strict anti-poaching laws) as an effort to conserve the species.


Leopard

Leopards are one of the most elusive cats and are predominantly nocturnal. They spend much of their time tucked in trees and even drag their kill into the limbs to eat. They are native to more than 35 countries in Africa, including Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe.

Mountain Gorilla

Less than 900 of these gentle giants remain in Africa today. They live in protected national parks in Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Mountain gorillas spend time in a group of up to 30, known as a troop, and the silverback, or dominant male, leads the troop.


Cape Buffalo

Cape Buffaloes are massive creatures, weighing in around 1000 pounds. They live in the grasslands of sub-Saharan Africa in large herds. Though these animals look pretty silly munching on grass, they are actually very aggressive and one of the most dangerous animals in Africa along with hippos and crocodiles.



ANTARCTICA

The southernmost continent may be the least toured by humans, but it is home to many animals that can survive the chilly climate.


Penguins

The Arctic may have polar bears, but Antarctica has penguins! There are seven types of penguins that live on or near Antarctica, including the largest penguin the Emperor. Though penguins don’t fly through the air, they do soar under water at up to 25 mph.

Seals

There are four types of seals found in Antarctica. Without polar bears hunting them, these seals are much less skittish around people. Seals look cute but can be aggressive hunters – leopard seals prey on smaller seals and even penguins.


Albatross

Antarctica is home to more than 30 species of seabirds, including the albatross. With a long wingspan (up to 11 feet!) and sleek feathers, these birds look very graceful when they fly. Albatross have a long lifespan—80-85 years—and mate for life. If you’re a bird, I’m a bird!


ASIA

From the jungles of India to the mountains of China, Asia features many diverse and fascinating animals.


Proboscis Monkey

If you’re trying to spot a proboscis monkey, just look for the long nose! Like the name suggests, these monkeys are known for their noses as well as red fur. They live in Borneo and spend most of their time in the trees, except for the occasional belly flops into water.


Giant Panda

Tucked in the mountains of central China, giant pandas are one of the most well-known bears that live in Asia. (There are also sun bears, sloth bears, and Asian black bears.) There are only around 1000 of these shy animals in the wild, and giant pandas are on the endangered species list.

Bengal Tiger

Tigers are the largest of the big cats and live in India, Southeast Asia, northeast China, and Russia’s Far East. With vision 6x better than humans, tigers rely on their sight above all senses for hunting and do so mostly at night.


Asian Elephant

Asian elephants are much smaller than their African cousins. They live in tropical forests in Southeast Asia, India, Sri Lanka, and southern China. The herds are typically led by the oldest and largest female, and the males splinter off once they reach maturity.


Orangutan

The name orangutan comes from the Malay word that means “man of the forest.” These highly-intelligent primates live in Borneo and Sumatra and have enormous arm spans – a 5 foot male can measure 7 feet fingertip to fingertip!


Snow Leopard

Snow leopards live in the mountains of central Asia and are on the endangered species list. Because of their elusive nature, these cats are rarely seen by humans. They are very strong and can jump nearly 50 feet. (FYI – the longest recorded jump by a human is less than 30 feet!)


King Cobra

Though you may have seen king cobra dance to the sounds of a snake charmer, you won’t be so charmed to find one of these in the wild. King cobras are the longest venomous snakes and are found in India, southern China, and Southeast Asia. When provoked, they rear up about a 1/3 of their length –they can be up to 15 feet. That means you’ll have 5-foot tall snake staring you down with the other 10-feet coiled behind. No, thank you.


AUSTRALIA

Australia and Oceania are home to some of the world’s cutest and most dangerous animals. You’ll want to make sure you encounter some of these during a trip down under…and avoid others at all cost!

Kangaroo

No trip down under would be complete without seeing a kangaroo! These marsupials have strong hind legs, and gray kangaroos can hop over 35 miles per hour. A newborn kangaroo is tiny (think: size of a cherry) and immediately climbs into its mother’s pouch where it stays for 10-11 months before emerging.


Koala

Though a koala is often called a koala bear, it actually is not a bear at all! Like kangaroos, koalas are marsupials. These cute creatures live in eastern Australia and sleep up to 18 hours a day – talk about #napgoals.


Komodo Dragon

The Komodo dragon is the world’s largest lizard, reaching 10 feet long and 300 pounds. They prey on deer, pigs, and larger animals and have saliva riddled with bacteria that will kill even humans if bitten. Komodo dragons live in Indonesian islands, including Komodo, Gili, and Rinca.


Saltwater Crocodile

When you think of Australia you can’t help but think of Crocodile Dundee and The Crocodile Hunter, so naturally crocs are on our list. Saltwater crocodiles (or “salties” if you’re in Australia) are the largest of the crocodiles. They can grow to be over 20 feet long and weigh over 2000 pounds – crikey!


Dingo

Though dingoes are associated with Australia, they actually live in many parts of Southeast Asia as well. These wild dogs are abundant on the continent and are sometimes considered pests.

Tasmanian Devil

Tasmanian devils live in Tasmania, the island off the southeast coast of Australia. They are marsupials that behave much like their Looney Tunes’ character Taz – feisty and belligerent. These animals have one of the strongest bites and growl, scream, and show their teeth when threatened.


Platypus

What do you get whenyou mix a duck and an otter? A platypus! These apt swimmers feed on worms, shellfish, and insects in the water but are not so graceful on land. They are one of the only two mammals that lay eggs.