Russia contains numerous rare and unusual critters, endemic animals whose natural habitat is limited to areas within the country's interior. To see them, you might need to embark on a journey to some of Russia’s more remote regions. However, you will be rewarded not only with the beauty of forests and lakes, but perhaps also with the opportunity to touch the silky fur of these wondrous creatures.
1. Russian desman
Today this unusual semiaquatic mammal inhabits the basins of the Don, Volga and Ural rivers. A desman’s fur remains dry even underwater because of the oily musk secreted by its glands. It was the strong aromatic properties of its musk and its unique fur that put the desman on the brink of extinction a few centuries ago, but now this animal is under protection.
2. Fresh water seals of Lake Baikal and Lake Ladoga
Seals are referred to in many ancient Russian stories and legends. The peoples of Chukotka have a tale about a great mother seal that gave birth to every living creature on earth.
3. Putorana snow sheep
It is impossible to know why the Putorana sheep chose this morose plateau, where it is forced to survive under harsh conditions, surrounded by ubiquitous dangers. Probably, these timid creatures enjoy the remoteness and the lack of disturbances.
4. Ross's gull
5. Amur lemming
6. Siberian crane
The Siberian crane is included on the Red List as a critically endangered species. In 2012, President Vladimir Putin participated in The Flight of Hope, an action aimed at promoting the protection of this species. Accompanied by young cranes, the Russian president flew alongside them on a motorized hang glider.
7. Barguzin sable