Cuddly Critters: 7 Amazing Endangered Animal Plushies

African Wild Dog Plushie

(images via: Arno Meintjes and DeviantArt/Webk1nzicons)

The African Wild Dog (Lycaon pictus) is the world’s second-largest wild canid (after the Gray Wolf) and they usually live, travel and hunt in large packs. The total number of these beautifully colored and patterned creatures has dropped from approximately half a million to around 5,000 – the IUCN lists African Wild Dogs as Endangered and their habitat has become fragmented by human intrusion.

(image via: BB Toy Store)

GANZ includes the cute, cuddly, 12-inch tall plushie above in their Webkinz Virtual Pet Plush Signature Series. Kids intrigued by this plushie can learn a lot about ecology, conservation and the real dangers of “nature red in tooth and claw” embodied by African Wild Dogs and their unique lifestyle in the land of our ancient ancestors.

Giant Octopus Plushie

(image via: Tapir and Friends Animal Store)

The Giant Octopus (genus Enteroctopus) from Tapir and Friends Animal Store stretches 36 inches from tip to toe, er, tentacle. Dubbed “Olive”, this soft and suckerless plushie features glossy eyes that seem to gaze hypnotically into yours… er, what were we saying? Oh yes – a Giant Octopus plushie is just the thing for cold winter nights when you want eight arms to hug you.