Kids and animals are a natural match, but researchers say the love youngsters have for animals may actually be clouding the public's mind about how endangered they are.


The study in the journal PLOS Biology lists what the authors say are the world's 10 most charismatic animals: tigers, lions, elephants, giraffes leopards, pandas, cheetahs, polar bears, gray wolves and gorillas.

PLOS Biology杂志上刊登的研究列举了作者认为全世界最受人喜爱的动物:老虎、狮子、大象、长颈鹿、豹、熊猫、猎豹、北极熊、灰狼和大猩猩。

They say the common appearance of these animals in cartoons, movies, and toys have led to what they call "virtual populations" -- people believe these animals are not at risk of extinction in the wild because they appear to be everywhere.


The study uses the popular French baby toy "Sophie the Giraffe" as an example. Eight-hundred thousand Sophie toys were sold in France in 2010 -- more than eight times the number of real giraffes living in Africa.


The authors recommend toy companies and anyone else who uses endangered species as trademarks donate some of their profits to wildlife conservation.


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