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10 of the cutest endangered species

By: Laura Moss on Sept. 20, 2012, 5:57 p.m.
Pygmy hippos

Photo: ZUMA Press

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Pygmy hippos

These animals look similar to their larger hippopotamus relatives, but they grow to only about two and a half feet tall and are extremely rare in the wild, with no more than a few thousand remaining. Their primary threat is loss of habitat due to deforestation, but they’re also hunted extensively for food and trophies. Although they’re endangered in the wild, they breed well in zoos. In 1927 Harvey Firestone, founder of the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, gave President Calvin Coolidge a male pygmy hippo named Billy as a gift, and Billy is the ancestor of most pygmy hippos in American zoos today.