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Photographer Spends 2 Years Photographing Animals That May Soon Be Extinct, And It Breaks Our Hearts

For most of us, endangered animals are a far-away mystery. British photographer Tim Flach, however, has spent the last 2 years braving their habitats and documenting their fragile existences. The resulting body of work, Endangered, provides us with an intimate and rare view into the beautiful lives of Earth’s most threatened creatures, and reminds us of everything we should be afraid to lose.

From species we’re all familiar with (polar bear, snow leopard, cheetah) to exotic beasts we’d only imagine in fantasy films (saiga, Philippine eagle, olm salamander), Flach presents a wide spectrum of biodiversity with Endangered, and sheds light on the unique challenges each animal faces in order to survive. Some have had their numbers cut down by habitat destruction. Others endure more gruesome ordeals, such as hunting, poaching, and being sold into the black market.

Flach has often stated that he aims to reveal the relationships that connect humans to our wilder counterparts. Staring into the eyes of the animals featured in Endangered, it’s heartbreaking to imagine that any one of them would ever be considered less worthy of life than one of us. Scroll down to see the most stunning shots from the series, and vote for the ones that took your breath away.

#1 Saiga

#2 Polar Bear

#3 Philippine Eagle

#4 Hyacinth Macaw

#5 African Elephant

#6 Iberian Lynx

#7 Snow Leopard

#8 Cheetah With Cubs

#9 Ring Tailed Lemur

#10 White Bellied Pangolin

Click here to see the next 10.