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You need to login to do this. A rather extreme manifestation of this trope. A massively disproportionate amount of money goes towards saving the panda because it looks like a battered wife. Humans, being as prejudiced as we are, tend to only like certain animals. Oh, how our dog smiles and plays! Oh, how our cat rolls on the rug asking for a tummy rub! Oh, how the hamster stuffs his chubby little cheeks!
Oh, how pretty the Mute Swan is as he glides across the pond! Oh, how the Coelacanth is a boring old fish. You may have noticed that only cute, cuddly, and cool animals are good guys while unpopular or unattractive animals are brought in to be the Designated Villains. This usually plays into the “Carnivores are Mean” subtrope of Carnivore Confusion.
Wolves and Foxes, and Lions and other big cats can be heroes as well because their babies are cute and thus remind people of puppies and kittens, and the adults look badass. All butterflies are marked “Cute”, even those you won’t like to see in your garden. Some fiction goes even further, casting only cute, cuddly, and cool animals – ugly and unpopular animals tend to be non anthropomorphic, villainous, or outright absent. For example, both Mice and Rats can be cute, but they can get a bad rap because they’re commonly household pests. Even then, the tiny Mice are likely to be portrayed more positively than the larger Rats. This trope is pervasive enough that simply associating a human character with a certain animal or, in fantastic fiction, giving him the features of an animal can immediately peg them as good or bad. In extreme cases, this can start to look like the animal equivalent of Fantastic Racism.