The Most Famous Animals From History, Zoos, And Popular Culture

Martha Martins
Oct 17, 2023 By Martha Martins
Originally Published on Oct 23, 2021
A little girl with her pet dog outdoors in park.

Have you ever wondered how it would feel if you became famous?

You may not have known this right now, but history has given us some animals that will forever be in our hearts. Moreover, social media sites, like Instagram, let us scroll through endless videos of pets that have a story to tell.

Although, nothing can be better than learning about some of the sensations about animals that will forever be remembered by us. Learning about these animals also helps us learn that we don't really need to maintain a distance from the wildlife of the world.

You can also share animal facts with your friends and family to invoke their love for these incredible beings. So, for those of you who would love to know more about animals, we have compiled some information about a few of the well-remembered animals.

If you enjoyed this article, why not also read about the fastest animals in the world and Florida animals, here on Kidadl.

The Most Famous Animal In The World

When we talk about famous animals, the favorite amongst all is the dog and it's often described as man's best friend. That's quite true, as rather than just being a pet, dogs have tirelessly been by our side. Hachikō has to be one of the most remembered and celebrated dogs, known for being loyal to his owner.

Other famous dogs include a German shepherd, Trakr, who was responsible for finding the last survivor of 9/11 from under concrete rubble. Trakr was also declared to be one of the ten most heroic animals by Time magazine.

Another famous German shepherd, Rin Tin Tin was born in war-strewn France during the First World War, and Lee Duncan, an American soldier adopted the dog.

Later, Rin Tin Tin's jumping skills made him a movie star and he rose to fame by starring in more than 30 films. Rin Tin Tin was also Warner Brothers unofficial doggie mascot.

Did you know that the world-famous psychologist Sigmund Freud loved dogs? His dog Jofi, a chow-chow breed was known for being quite a timekeeper for her master.

Freud also had quite a bit of faith in the intelligence of humans and believed that they had the potential to read humans. When talking about famous personalities, we cannot possibly forget Bo and Sunny, the dogs of the USA's former President, Barack Obama.

These burly Portuguese water dogs managed to become a sensation on the internet. In May 2021, Obama sadly announced that Bo had died.

The world was thrilled to know that a Russian space dog, Laika was the first animal to make it to space. Moreover, Laika was also the first animal in space to orbit the World.

We owe a lot to Laika the dog, who died in space so that humans could make their journey easier. Laika is often remembered in the film, My Life as a Dog.

Famous Movie Animals

Movies are always a way to meet our favorite animals, and some of them turn out to be quite famous. Think about the beautiful dalmatians from the movie 101 Dalmations or the pup Toto from The Wizard of Oz.

Or be it Beethoven, the dog from the eponymous 1992 movie, or all the animals that we saw in Harry Potter. The world of Disney has made us love animals like Bambi, Dumbo, and how can we even forget Simba, the lion cub from The Lion King.

We can't possibly forget to mention Marley, the beautiful labrador retriever from Marley & Me. Moreover, if you're fond of knowing about famous cartoon animals, then you'll surely remember Tom and Jerry as well as Mickey Mouse.

We also have to mention Cartoon Network’s creepy character Courage, from the show Courage the Cowardly Dog who never failed to be a good pet.

Some girls from the 1980s were obsessed with horses mainly because of the cartoon show, My Little Pony. More recently, Shaun the Sheep has become pretty popular due to the British animated show and films, and we cannot help but chuckle while thinking about all the goofy sheep characters.

Famous Zoo Animals

Most of us had our first encounter with a wild animal in a zoo. We must have thought about why those animals couldn't be adopted, but some of these zoo sensations made it to the media and we still remember them.

The Galápagos tortoise, Diego, was kept in the San Diego Zoo in California since the 1940s and he is said to be the parent of more than 2,000 tortoises.

Shamu, the orca was a famous attraction at SeaWorld in San Diego.

However, the most iconic zoo animal has to be Harambe, the gorilla who lived in the Cincinnati Zoo of Ohio, and he was shot dead when a toddler fell into the enclosure. The story of Harambe will forever be remembered in history.

Another famous zoo animal was Ivan the gorilla, which lived caged in a Washington mall.

The One and Only Ivan, a book was written from the point of view of that gorilla, in 2012 and subsequently turned into a film.

Funnily enough, Macaco Tião, a chimp from the Rio de Janeiro Zoo got pretty famous when a satirical news organization entered its candidature to run for the place of Rio de Janeiro mayor and the chimp managed to get 9.5% of the votes.

Another famous zoo animal was Knut, the polar bear who lived in the Berlin Zoo.

The cuddly bear gained a bit of popularity for being raised by the zookeepers. During the 2010 Fifa World Cup, the world got to learn about the octopus named Paul who lived in the Sea Life Centre in Berlin.

Apparently, the octopus was able to predict the winners of all the matches without fail.

However, according to a survey, it was found out that tigers are the most liked animals around the world. The world's most famous tiger has to be Machli, who lived in the Ranthambore National Park of India.

Her name in Hindi means fish, and the name first belonged to the tigress' mother who had a fish mark on her face.

The tigress became a sensation after killing a 14 ft (4.26 m) crocodile who would have attacked her cubs. People from all over the world visited the tigress to see her feeding and took tons of photographs.

It's also been said that Machli was one of the most photographed tigers in the world.

Machli had about eleven cubs and lived until the age of 19, which is quite a long lifespan for a Bengal tiger. In India, a postal stamp was published in the tigress' honor to commemorate the contributions to the development of tiger conservation.

Horse and young  woman with two braids hugging.

Famous Animals From Around The World

When it comes to a famous animal sensation from around the world, then it has to be Dolly the sheep, who was lovingly named after the singer, Dolly Parton. Dolly the sheep lived in the Roslin Institute of Scotland where she was cloned by taking a cell from the mammary gland of a similar sheep.

Dolly lived a good life of six years and gave birth to several lambs.

Another pretty popular animal is Cher Ami, a homing pigeon that dedicated its life to the First World War.

Interestingly, Cher Ami was gifted to the Americans by the British people. Born in 1919, Cher Ami just lived to be only a year old and the pigeon is currently displayed at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., USA.

However, every animal might not be known by an individual but rather by its species. When it comes to noting down creatures, we can seldom forget the famous animals in Australia, an island country that is a mystical place for its fauna and flora.

We cannot go ahead without mentioning the kangaroo, the animal that has become an identity for the country. Alongside, another strange but majestic animal is the southern cassowary which is bound to remind you of the dinosaur.

Those who have been following the internet will know that a recent sensation is the beautiful sugar glider that is known for its protruding eyes.

However, one of the strangest species has to be the platypus that is an egg-laying mammal. The platypus also gained quite a bit of traction because of the cartoon character, Perry, from the show Phineas and Ferb.


Famous Animals Of Instagram

Have you ever thought of leading a famous life on Instagram? If yes, then you may be surprised to hear that there are some loving pet animals around the world who have become sensations on the internet.

Jiffpom, the pomeranian dog, is the most followed animal personality on Instagram with ten million followers. The next most followed sensation is Nala, the cat, who has more than four million followers and also set a Guinness World Record for being the most followed cat on Instagram.

We cannot forget the sensation grumpy cat, who instantly became a meme, the cat that has more than two million followers. Sadly, the grumpy cat passed away in 2019 due to complications from a UTI.

An honorable mention has to go to Juniperfoxx who also has around three million followers on Instagram. The cute female fox shares the space with other animals, namely, a dog and a raccoon.

Famous Extinct Animals We Can't Forget

Even though we love our cats and dogs, all of us should spend some time thinking about the animals that went extinct. One of the most recent animals to join the list in 2020 was the splendid poison frog that was endemic to western Panama.

However, the northern white rhinoceros had to be the most heartbreaking of stories that were heard around the world when the last surviving male of its species died in 2018.

The phoenix might not be a true species, but almost everyone has heard about the flightless dodo bird that was unfortunately last seen in the 17th century. No one can take the blame for this species' death except humans.

Another extinct species that went extinct from the Earth was the woolly mammoth. Even though humans did have a part in its death, global warming might have been the leading cause that caused this species to go extinct about 10,000 years ago.

Moving to the southern hemisphere, there once lived a marsupial called the Tasmanian tiger. It wasn't a tiger, but an animal closer to the koala and kangaroo, which got its name from the stripes present on its back.

We are yet to know the exact reason that led to its death, but human encroachment and poaching might have been key reasons. About 100 years ago, the passenger pigeon also became extinct. It was baffling to see such a widespread species disappear due to humans interfering with its habitat.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for famous animals, then why not take a look at animals that eat both plants and animals, or why do anima

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Written by Martha Martins

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Linguistics

Martha Martins picture

Martha MartinsBachelor of Arts specializing in Linguistics

Martha is a full-time creative writer, content strategist, and aspiring screenwriter who communicates complex thoughts and ideas effectively. She has completed her Bachelor's in Linguistics from Nasarawa State University. As an enthusiast of public relations and communication, Martha is well-prepared to substantially impact your organization as your next content writer and strategist. Her dedication to her craft and commitment to delivering high-quality work enables her to create compelling content that resonates with audiences.

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