We often hear the sad tales of animals that have gone extinct and those that are on their to way to disappearing, but today let’s take a look at a few creatures who’ve surprised scientists by popping up years after they were last seen.

According to the August 29, 2022 edition of Scholastic News, a group called Re:wild is leading the charge to find 25 species that haven’t been sighted in decades. Since the project started in 2017, Re:Wild has located 8 of them. Rediscovering the species allows scientist to learn more about them and how we can better protect them.

Here are three of the animals that have come back from the missing, according to Scholastic News:

Fernandina Giant Tortoise

Native to the Galapagos Islands, this tortoise went missing for 113 years before being tracked down in 2019.  They struggle with rats, dogs and pigs, which eat the tortoise eggs.  Scientists are hoping to find a few more of the Fernandina, increase their numbers by breeding them, and then release them back into the wild.

Silver-Backed Chevrotain

These adorable little things live in Vietnam, but hadn’t been seen in 28 years.  They were hunted extensively for their meat, but scientists hope to convince locals to stop hunting them so their population can stabilize.  They were found in 2019 by accident by an automated wildlife camera.

Voeltzkow’s Chameleon

Last seen 107 years ago, this  species of chameleon lives in Madagascar, where its biggest threat is human-induced habitat loss.  It was found again in 2018 when a group of scientists intensified their search and came across one in a hotel garden, of all places.

It’s tough hearing bad environmental news all the time, so when I came across this article in my wife’s Scholastic News lesson plan for the class she teachers, I hoped to spread the good news.  Hopefully we can keep these animals around us for centuries to come.

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