Sometimes, people may think that certain animals are extinct, but they aren’t. They may think this because these animals may have been on an extinct list. Another reason is because they group all of one species together and think that the whole group is extinct even though it is only one small species within that group.
For instance, people realized recently that bees were put on the endangered list in the U.S., but it is only one small species of bees and not all of them. The giant Palouse earthworm was believed to have been extinct several decades ago, but they can be found in the northwestern parts of the United States. Another animal believed to be extinct but can be spotted in the wild include the terror skunk.
It is not unheard of that scientists categorize animals as extinct only to realize they are alive and well. This confusion may happen because of migration from deforested areas, location of new food sources, or a number of other factors. The Javan Elephant is a species thought to be extinct but after extensive research, it was determined that Borneo pygmy elephant was genetically distinct from other Asian elephants and likely originated on Java.
It is likely this happened due to animal trading long ago. Other animals that were previously thought to be extinct include: The Lord Howe Island Stick Insect, Takahe, Cuban Solenodon, the Terror Skink, Giant Palouse Earthworms, and the Arakan Forest Turtle.