14 Extinct Animals That May Still Be Alive Today

There have been millions of species that have gone extinct over several geologic ages. However, some of these different species may not actually be extinct after all. Over the years, people all over the world have claimed to see these creatures or evidence of them, suggesting that they may still be roaming the earth. People have collected photographs and other evidence that these animals may still be alive.

Much like the Phoenix, which is sadly just a myth, these animals has seemingly come back from the dead after having been declared extinct, some long ago. Check out some of these extinct animals (some are super strange) and the stories behind their extinction -- or should we say "alleged" extinction?

14. Thylacine

Also known as the Tasmanian tiger, the Thylacine officially went extinct in 1936. However, people in Tasmania and mainland Australia have claimed to see these animals roaming about over the past few years. Although there is no scientific evidence that proves that these animals aren't actually extinct, there are people who believe that they are back -- or that they never left. That part of the world has a history of animals returning from extinction (read: crested gecko). Thylacine translates to "dog-headed pouched one" in Greek. But what's in a name, right?


13. Eastern Cougar

Better-known as the North American Cougar, this animal was declared extinct in 2011 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. However, several people have claimed that they've spotted one of these animals all along the Eastern seaboard, and there is physical evidence to support these anecdotal claims. There have been photographs taken, fur and feces samples collected, and footprints analyzed -- all of which suggest that the Eastern Cougar is still very much around.

By USG (US Fish & Wildlife Service) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Bruce Wright, New Brunswick wildlife biologist and author, with what is believed to be the last eastern puma. The puma was trapped in Maine in 1938.


12. Passenger Pigeon

This fifteen to sixteen-inch-long "wild" pigeon went extinct in 1914. It is widely believed that destruction of their habitat is what caused them to die off. Since that time, however, there have been sightings. Many believe that a very small number of passenger pigeons are still flying around today. It is also said that these birds may be able to be resurrected by cloning. According to The Long Now Foundation, these birds scored fairly high on the "Criteria Checklist" which makes them great candidates for revival.

11. Honshu Wolf

Also known as the Japanese Wolf, the Honshu was officially ruled extinct in 1905. The Honshu was the world's smallest known wolf and has reportedly been seen on more than once occasion since its alleged extinction year. Many believe that the Honshu was negatively impacted on a species level by rabies, which first cut down their packs in the 1700's.

Honshū Wolf (Canis lupus hodophilax) in National Science Museum of Japan.Wikimedia Commons

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