Ask anyone, and you’ll find that they have some animal that they love. Who doesn’t love a funny, cute cat video? And who hasn’t rubbed the head of a slobbering dog? But some animals just aren’t that cute, and humans, well, we’re a bit unkind to animals that we don’t think make good material for Youtube videos. Hundreds of animals have been hunted to extinction, many in the last 200 years. Sure, some went extinct because we humans thought they were just a bit too tasty. Others, however, just didn’t have enough of a “cute” factor to escape the inevitable chopping block.
Have you called someone a Dodo lately? Maybe you were called one yourself? We wouldn’t be surprised. The bird, much like its name, is extinct because it wasn’t the smartest bird in the flock. With a face only a blind mother could love, the Dodo only existed on one island in the Indian Ocean. If only the Dodo hadn’t been flightless. Maybe it could have flown the coop.
The Woolly Mammoth was a prime example of prime rib. This giant, hairy relative to the elephant faced extinction for two reasons: It couldn’t take the heat, and it went too well with a side of potatoes. Humans hunted this walking steak ravenously, and the warming of the Earth after the Ice Age proved a bit too much for such a fully-coated animal.
West African Black Rhinos
The West African Black Rhino, if anything, is a good example of why we humans really are an evil lot sometimes. The Black Rhino was on the receiving end, again and again, because of its horn. Why? Chinese medicine. Sure, its ground horn may have helped cure a few headaches, but that’s nothing a good ibuprofen couldn’t have fixed.
A parakeet? In the USA? Believe it or not, this majestic bird once called the Carolina’s home. That was, of course, until Southern women in the 1800s decided that their feathers would be a good, fashionable addition for their summer hats. Oh well. There’s no fashion without suffering, right?
Unfortunately, even a cool name and some amazing stripes can’t save an animal from the wrath of man. The Tasmanian Tiger suffered partly from humans encroaching on its territory and partly because we just didn’t like its attitude. Or the fact that it was eating some of our livestock. The Tasmanian Tiger was one of those rare animals we even watched go extinct, as the last known specimen died in captivity.