Raising Awareness for the World's Rarest (and Cutest) Wild Hamster National Wildlife Day

Photo Courtesy: Uwe Anspaugh/Getty Images

As common household pets in America, hamsters are frequent inhabitants of pet stores and private homes, which is why it’s so easy to forget they come from wild rodent populations, right along with rabbits, mice and chinchillas. One of the most popular wild hamster species, the European hamster, is now rare and endangered in the wild, thanks to pressures put on its natural habitat by humans.

Activists and conservationists are working to save the European hamster, but it’s still too early to tell if the animals’ days in the wild are truly numbered or if conservation efforts can restore hamster habitats and allow the animals to thrive once again. National Wildlife Day encourages us to celebrate wild animals and raise awareness for endangered species. Let's take a look at what might be in store for one of nature's most furry (and photogenic) small mammals.