Although sad, most animals led to extinction were due to careless overhunting.
Long ago, our great ancestors understood the need to only take what was needed from nature and to conserve resources to continue their way of life. After the start of more modern times, with farming being the most common way to raise, sell, or trade for food, this idea became lost to some. We began to keep taking with no thought or care of the consequences.
Many hunters understand the need for game to be regulated and protected from overhunting today. To continue to preserve the art of hunting we must first protect that which we love to hunt. If our ancestors from a few hundred years ago understood this like we do today maybe some of these species wouldn’t be extinct.
As a reminder, here is a small list of animals that have been hunted to extinction through the years, many of these you have probably never heard of.
Click through the slideshow to see 10 animals hunted to extinction.
The Atlas bear was Africa’s only native species of bear. Due to their large size and unique fur color, they were hunted entirely for sport. The last of the species was killed by hunters in the 1870s.
Western Black Rhino
The western black rhino is one of the newest animals to be put on the extinction list. By 1980 their populations were in the hundreds due to poaching for their horns, and by 2000 only ten were thought to be left in the wild. It was added to the list after a recent expedition turned up no sign of any left in its home of Cameroon.
This great beast is the symbol of California’s state flag. Once numbering in the tens of thousands, the bear was quickly gunned down and poisoned during the Gold Rush in 1848. They were larger than their Alaskan cousins weighing up to 2,200 pounds and stood 8 feet tall. The last California grizzly was spotted in 1924, but none have been seen since.
The dodo bird is probably the most well-known animal that has gone extinct. This big, flightless bird was discovered in 1481 and was carelessly hunted to extinction in 100 years.
These flightless waterbirds once numbered in the millions. They mated for life and lived along isolated, rocky islands of the North Atlantic. As their numbers began to rapidly dwindle from over hunting for their pelts and eggs in the 1850s, museums had them sanctioned to be collected for display purposes. In 1844, by a pure act of evil, the last of the great auks was strangled by a hunter while his partner smashed their eggs from a nest.
Once the most common bird in North America, the passenger pigeon lived in flocks of sometimes billions. Its tasty meat was a cheap way to feed the poor and became the center of unregulated hunting. A group of hunters knowingly killed the last known flock of 250,000 in 1896, ending their existence on the planet.
Related to the plains zebra, the quagga roamed most of southern Africa. Trophy hunted down for their hides, they were mostly wiped out by the 1870s. The last quagga died in 1883 at the Amsterdam Zoo.
Stellar’s Sea Cow
The stellar’s sea cow is closely related to the manatee. They lived in frigid waters of the North Pacific where they grew to almost 30 feet long and weighed 10 tons. Being slow swimmers and packed with blubber made them easy targets for early European settlers. It only took 27 years for them to be hunted to extinction from their discovery in 1741.
Despite their name, these creatures were not tigers, but a marsupial. Native to Australia and Tasmania, they underwent a massive hunting streak encouraged by bounties. The last Tasmanian tiger was killed in the 1930s by a farmer on his land.
Once known as the most beautiful species of kangaroo, the toolache wallaby went extinct in 1939. They were hunted down for their pelt and for sport where they were often chased down with the aid of dogs. The last two died after living in captivity for 12 years.
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