Even the list of endangered animals has grown in recent years, as several previously thought-to-be-extinct species have been unearthed. If animal scientists saw rare sightings of exceedingly elusive animals like the clouded leopard and saki monkeys last year, a small and extremely charming species surprisingly returned in the wild this year.
After being classed as a “lost species” for the past 50 years, the elephant shrew has been rediscovered. Elephant shrews have been “back on the radar” since 1968, when the last sightings were documented. During an expedition in Djibouti, a country in the Horn of Africa, they were rediscovered.
The elusive species must have done a good job of hiding, for the explorers discovered an abundance of these animals in the region. The lovely little animals are also called as “sengi,” and they’re linked to elephants, as well as aardvarks and manatees, despite not being shrews or elephants. Their nostrils, in fact, rebuild an elephant’s trunk. Of course, in tiny!
The researchers utilized over 1,000 traps in 12 different sites to find them. The snegi was rediscovered thanks to a mixture of peanut butter, oats, and yeast.
“We simply stared at each other and couldn’t believe it when we opened the first trap and saw the small tuft of hair on the tip of its tail,” Steven Heritage, a research scientist at Duke University’s Lemur Center, told the BBC. “…we knew it was something unique as we gazed at each other.” They aren’t well-known creatures, yet it’s difficult not to appreciate them when you encounter them.”