13 Animals Which Have Suffered Due to Humans

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“The lamb misused breeds public strife 
and yet forgives the butcher's knife.”
― William Blake

Humans are the biggest devils that have set foot on this majestic planet, bringing destruction to as far as their eyes have seen. Thousands of species of flora and fauna have been wiped off from the face of the earth due to negligence and immeasurable love of greed.

As you read through the names of a few of an endless list of tormented animals, bring those little pieces of your mind together to throw light on what we have done and if not done by us, what we are doing to help. 

1. The Northern White Rhinoceros

Loss of habitat and poaching made the last two living female northern white rhinos incapable of breeding as the last male died in March of 2018 from old age and infection.

2. The Spix Macaw

These vibrant blue-feathered birds went extinct due to deforestation that led to habitat destruction and illegal trading. The Spix Macaw, which was thought to be extinct, currently lives in captivity with very low numbers, around 60-70.

3. The Passenger Pigeon

Humans hunted passenger pigeons to a long dragged extent when the last known living bird died in captivity in 1914 in Cincinnati zoo. The population of these birds was estimated around millions—and possibly billions. The numbered dropped to zero from billions in just fifty years, thanks to humans for ruthless hunting.

4. The Quagga

The Quagga, subspecies of zebra went extinct in the late 19th century due to poaching and hunting for their meat and skin. They were looked as suitable species for domestication further eradicating them from the wild. The last captive specimen of Quagga died in Amsterdam on 12 August 1883. Only one Quagga was ever photographed alive and only 23 skins are preserved today.

5. The Pyrenean Ibex

Extensive hunting of the Pyrenean Ibex made the species extinct in 2000, when the last known living female named Celia died on January 6, 2000. 

The species was domesticated widely for high mountain pastures. The Pyrenean ibex became the first taxon ever to become "unextinct" on July 30, 2003, when a cloned female ibex was born alive and survived for several minutes, before dying from lung defects. The project is under continuation.

6. The Golden Toad

Pollution, global warming, contamination of habitat resulted in the extinction of these species. Chytrid skin infections also contributed to their deaths. A small toad was last seen in 1989 in a Costa Rican rainforest. After 1989, when there have been no verified documented sightings, the species was declared extinct in 1994. 

7. Zanzibar Leopard

Locals hunted these majestic leopards due to beliefs that they were kept by the witches who sent them to harass the villagers and were killed to such an extent where they became extinct. It's still unclear whether this large cat is technically extinct and people noticed occasional unconfirmed sightings. 

In 2018, Animal Planet released footage of what it identified as a Zanzibar Leopard, but those claims are yet to be confirmed.

8. Madeiran Large White

Madeiran Large White butterfly majestically used to spread its wings the valleys of the Laurisilva forests on Portugal's Madeira Islands but due to the loss of habitat because of construction as well as pollution from agricultural fertilizers led to a rapid decline in the living number of this species. 

While it hasn't been officially declared extinct, the butterfly hasn't been seen for decades.

9. Carolina Parakeet

The last Carolina parakeet died at the Cincinnati Zoo in February of 1918 soon after his mate, Lady Jane, passed. Their bright feathers were coveted fashion fixtures for women's hats. It is likely noted that diseases and deforestation led to their demise.

“...almost every pearl on sale today was born of the planned sexual violation of a small creature, and that considerable suffering hangs on those necklace strings.”
― Victoria Finlay, Jewels: A Secret History

10. West African Black Rhino

Poachers hunted the rhino for its horn which is believed to possess aphrodisiacal powers by some in Yemen and China, leading to their extinction. Their horns were also used to make ceremonial knives. 

These majestic rhinos were declared extinct in 2011 after conservationists failed to find any in their last remaining habitat in Cameroon since 2006.

11. Javan Tiger

By the 1950s, only 20 tigers remained. sIn 1971, an older female was shot in a plantation near Mount Betiri in Java's southeast. Since then, not a single cub has been recorded. Due to the loss of habitat and agriculture, their population faced a severe decline. 

Conservation efforts in the 1940s and '50s were unsuccessful due to a lack of adequate land and planning.

12. Pinta Island Tortoise

They were hunted by sailors who are pirates. New animals were introduced by humans like goats, rats overgrazed and destroyed their habitats. They who preyed on young tortoises. Thanks to further human greediness that the killing of these tortoises for normalized for their meat. 

A male named Lonesome George was the last purebred of this subspecies who passed in 2015.

13. The Dodo

This flightless bird contributed majorly to the idea of wildlife protection and so occupies a major portion in everyone’s heart. Unfortunately, they have been extinct for more than 150 years now. 

They were native to Mauritius whose population began dwindling and eventually became extinct over the short course of a century when sailors began hunting them for meat and the rats on the ships hunted their eggs.

People didn't believe that God would take away any creature's existence after having gone through the trouble of creating them, so no one was truly alarmed at their disappearance. 

This led people to believe that there were more Dodos tucked away somewhere in nature and so, specimens weren't handled as carefully as they should have been. 

The last of Dodos were seen in the 1660s and because there really wasn't an emphasis on specimen preservation, many of the remaining fossils were lost or destroyed.

“We need, in a special way, to work twice as hard to help people understand that the animals are fellow creatures, that we must protect them and love them as we love ourselves.”
― Cesar Chavez

Written by - Rashi Jain

Edited by - Rudransh Khurana

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