Cuddly Critters: 7 Amazing Endangered Animal Plushies

Want to teach your kids about rare species in a hands-on way? These 7 amazing endangered animal plushies do double duty as soft & cuddly teaching tools.

Fossa Plushie

(image via: If It’s Hip, It’s Here)

The Fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox) is a cat-like relative of the mongoose native to the island nation of Madagascar. The IUCN lists the Fossa as Vulnerable, mainly due to habitat encroachment by humans. IndyPlush produces one of the most distinctive Fossa plushies as a member of their Endangered Species collection. IndyPlush redirects a portion of all profits from plushie sales towards educational and wildlife protection organizations working to protect this curious carnivorous creature.

(images via: Arkive/Nick Garbutt, Indri Images and Stuffed Ark)

Fossas are the top predators in Madagascar (humans excepted) and ancient taboos forbid people to eat them, possibly due to their habit of scavenging on bodies buried in shallow graves. Yuk! Stuffed Ark offers a more naturalistic soft Fossa plushie that’s 29 inches long, including a 16 inch tail.

Blue-Footed Booby Plushie

(image via: World Wildlife Federation)

The Blue-footed Booby (Sula nebouxii) is in the curious position of symbolizing the plight of the world’s endangered creatures while not being especially threatened itself: the IUCN lists the species as being of Least Concern. These odd-looking birds, however, have been linked with Charles Darwin since the evolutionist and author encountered the species while exploring the Galapagos Islands in the 1830s. The awesome 12″ tall Blue-Footed Booby plushie above is made by Gund and can be acquired via the WWF’s online Gift Center.

Japanese Giant Salamander Plushie

(images via: Wikimedia and Gigazine)

The Japanese Giant Salamander (Andrias japonicus) can grow up to 1.44 meters (4.7 ft) in length over the course of its lifespan, which is pretty darn long itself: specimens in captivity have been observed to live for more than 50 years! Think your very own plush Giant Salamander can stick around that long? The key to finding out is to get one, and to do that you’ll have to show up at the Kyoto Aquarium where plushies sized from S to LL are stocked and sold.

(image via: Gigazine)

The Kyoto Aquarium is employing (so to speak) their Giant Salamander plushies to help ring in the holiday season! A Christmas tree of sorts made from various sizes of plush Giant Salamanders is the focal point of the facility’s holiday display. The Giant Salamander plushies themselves are priced from 750 yen ($7.50) for a 20cm (8″) beastie up to 5,000 yen ($50) for a 170cm (5’8″) mega-mock-amphibian!