5 wonderful, weird animals to see in their native countries

We know the main purpose of the internet is to look at cats. Occasionally though, you can use it for more important things. Such as looking at monkeys that look a bit like cats.

But we have a challenge for you: get out and check out these wonderful, sometimes endangered, and weird animals in their native countries and natural habitats (making sure you respect and protect their environments, of course).

Here are just five you could visit at their home.

Sunda Colugo

Half cute, half creepy, the Sunda Colugo is more commonly known as the Malayan Flying Lemur (or, as an extra for experts, the Galeopterus Variegatus).

You’ll find this Colugo (not a lemur) in tropical rainforest areas, such as Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. They’re particularly good chameleons however, as their fur can closely resemble the bark of the trees in which they dwell. Each Colugo is the proud owner of a membrane that allows it to ‘fly’ – or at least, glide more adeptly than other similar animals. Even though they are more useless than a starfish on the ground, they can glide for more than 100 metres at a time without losing much height at all.

Sunda Colugo

Gobi Jerboa

Prepare to meet your new favourite mouse-type-animal. Imagine a mouse with kangaroo legs and a set of ears so large it looks as though this cunning critter might have stolen them off a rabbit.

As the name suggests, you will probably need to travel to the Gobi desert in China and Mongolia to track one down. They get around by jumping, are slightly at risk due to the invasion of humans in their natural habitats, and weigh up to 40 grams – at their largest. A study completed in the 1980s put their numbers at around one Gobi Jerboa for every two hectares, according to Conservation website EDGE, and when the British Armed forces entered World War Two, the brigade troops adopted our favourite little mouse-type-animal to wear as their insignia, according to the army’s website.

Gobi Jerboa

Pied Tamarin

With long, agile tails, cuddleable brown and white fur and cute little hands and feet, the Brazilian Pied Tamarin sounds like the perfect little primate. That is until you get to their faces. You could say they have resting grump face, with black skin, a flat nose and ears that make them look like they’ve descended from gargoyles.

In the wild, these guys inhabit rainforest areas in Brazil north of the Amazon, but are listed as an endangered species with both the destruction of their habitats and the threat of feral cats and wild dogs bringing down their numbers. Most of them are born as twins, making a trip to visit them twice as nice (they’re much cuter as babies). And fortunately, you can see these little guys in zoos around the world, as conservation efforts bring many of their number into these attractions to ensure their survival.

Pied Tamarin

White-headed Langur

The white-headed langur is extremely rare and only found on Vietnam‘s northeastern Cat Ba Island – the largest of more than 3,000 in Halong Bay. The adult langurs are robed in black fur, but easily the coolest part about this critically endangered species is their white heads, each with a tuft of fur that makes it look like they spend each morning applying gel for the perfect mohawk.

Baby langurs are equally cute, and evolution has decked them out in bright orange fur, making them highly visible in lush green rainforests.

White headed langur

Polar Bear

Hunt, sleep, rest, repeat. And so goes the life of the Arctic Polar Bear.

These not-so-gentle giants are losing some of their natural habitat in the Arctic. According to the World Wildlife Fund, there are 19 subpopulations of the bear in the region, and eight of these are on the decline because of climate change, earning them a places on the list of threatened species in the US. There are an estimated 20,000-25,000 polar bears left in the world although you probably wouldn’t want to meet one up close. You can certainly see them in the wild in places such as Canada, Greenland and Alaska, or you can check them out in various zoos around the world.

Polar Bear

Want to go and see them? Travelling to remote locations like the Arctic Circle come with their own risks, so it may be useful to consider travel insurance that covers your adventures, and getting hold of a local guide!!

Check out Virgin Travel Insurance to find out if we are suitable for your holiday.

Which wonderful, endangered or weird animal would you most want to see in their natural habitat?