animalHistoryNatureRescue

SEVEN AMAZING CREATURES THAT ONCE EXISTED IN AFRICA

By September 9, 2023No Comments

SEVEN AMAZING CREATURES THAT ONCE EXISTED IN AFRICAAfrica is indeed a beautiful place to behold. From the spectacular Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, the Okavango Delta in Botswana, the Victoria Fall of Zambia and Zimbabwe, and the Zuma Rock of Nigeria, Africa is truly a magical place to be in. But Africa cannot be mentioned without the Complex astonishing Animals that live on the continent. These animals include mammals, reptiles, Insects as well as birds, with many being distinctive to Africa. Africa contains over 2600 bird species, plus over 1100 Mammal species, 3000 freshwater fishes, over 60 carnivores and 100,000 insect species. It has even been verified that the number of insects in Africa is equal to 15-20% of all the insects in the world. These creatures in their various habitats either in the jungles and rain forest, hills, valleys and mountains, grasslands, and desert safaris, has continued to pull individual and enthusiast to come to appreciate the beauty of Africa. However with all Africa has, it has lost many of these beautiful animals. Many have gone extinct, while a lot more have been labeled as endangered species. Why is this? Why has a land known for giving diverse life now become a graveyard? This article will introduce to its readership, seven African creatures that had gone extinct, It will discuss the cause of their extinction, and also provide ways in which this anomaly could be, controlled and harnessed.SEVEN AMAZING CREATURES THAT ONCE EXISTED IN AFRICA

1. THE QUAGGA
The Quagga is a mammal and a subspecies of the plains zebras that existed until 1878. The Quagga was a stallion, a beautiful and majestic animal that was said to be proud and wild. Like the Zebras of today, the Quagga is beautifully designed with stripes from its head to its neck and half of its body. The Khoi people of South Africa once used this animal as a guard animal in their homes, as they were known to defend their territory with invigorating strength and viciousness. This beautiful creature sadly began to go extinct when European colonizers began to settle in Africa. The Quagga was extensively hunted by the Europeans who took them abroad to different zoos. Unfortunately, all captive Quaggas died as the breeding process proved futile. It was said that once when forced to mate, a male Quagga got so angry that he rammed his head on a pavement continuously until his death. The remaining wild Quaggas in the Orange free state were all dead by 1878, and the last captive Quagga died in Amsterdam on 12 August 1883. Only one quagga was ever photographed alive, and only 23 skins exist today. In 1984, the quagga became the first extinct animal whose DNA was analyzed.THE BLUEBUCK

2. THE BLUEBUCK
The bluebuck also known as blue antelope is yet another poignant example of the impact that man can have in destroying life’s beautiful ecosystem. The bluebuck lived in the cape of South Africa until 1850 when they became extinct. This beautiful creature was a moderately-sized antelope, standing at about 75-100 cm (30-39 inches). It got its name Bluebuck from its stunning bluish-gray coat fur, which it wore, and is also identified by its two majestic twisted, lyre-shaped black horns, that stretch up from its head and curve towards the back. Evil was brought to the doorstep of these creatures when European colonizers came to Africa. Early European settlers that came to Africa, transformed vast areas of grassland habitat into farmland, reducing the gracing areas of the Bluebuck. Overhunting is also a major issue that caused the extinction of these beautiful creatures. Firearms were brought into the region by this settler and with it, they killed more of them and chased many more deep into uncharted lands filled with predators. By the early 1800s, sightings of bluebucks became scarce, and by the mid-1800s, the species was already considered extinct. The last known sighting of a bluebuck was reported around 1800. With no individuals in captivity, the species vanished entirely, making it unfortunately the first large mammal species to suffer extinction due to human activities.SEVEN AMAZING CREATURES THAT ONCE EXISTED IN AFRICA

3. THE WESTERN BLACK RHINOCEROS
Since the 1900s the Western Black Rhinoceros also known as the West African Black Rhinoceros has been hunted down by humans and in 2011 they were finally declared extinct by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) This majestic animal, which was 6 feet tall, and weighing a total of 3000 pounds with two gigantic horns, once roamed freely across the sub-Saharan African countries such as Cameroon, Sudan, Chad, and even the Central African Republic. But since the 1900s they had gone through intense hunting for their horns. And when laws were placed on their hunting, many resulted in poaching this gracious animal. In 2011 the Western Black Rhinoceros was declared extinct, and its cause was primarily due to poaching and overhunting.

4 .THE LARGE SLOTH LEMUR
The Palaeopropithecus, best known as the large sloth lemur is yet another fascinating animal, that due to man and other factors suffered extinction. The islands of Madagascar were once the home of the now-extinct large sloth lemur. These creatures were characterized by their sloth-like appearance and behavior. They had long limbs, a relatively small head, and a reduced snout, which are all features of a modern sloth. The Palaeopropithecus lemurs were herbivores, which meant that they fed on leaves, fruits, and other plants. Even though the exact reason for their extinction is not fully understood and established, it is believed that like many other species in Madagascar, they had suffered extinction due to deforestation, human impacts, and climate change. Some of the Madagascar species that have gone extinct include the giant fossa, giant lemurs, and the elephant birds.SEVEN AMAZING CREATURES THAT ONCE EXISTED IN AFRICA

5. THE ZANZIBAR LEOPARD
The Zanzibar leopard was a smallish subspecies of the leopard and was indigenous to the Swahili people of the Unguja islands of Zanzibar. Despite their small size, the Zanzibar leopard was once the largest carnivore and Apex predator on the island. The leopard’s only sighting was recorded in 2018. Sadly that was all the records attributed to the creature. While they are limited scientific evidence and documentation of the creature’s existence, the Zanzibar leopard’s extinction has been attributed to loss of habitat caused by deforestation, human hunting, and the Zanzibari local culture that portrayed this creature as witchcraft or affiliated with evil, which eventually led to an island-wide campaign that exterminated them all.Atlas bear

6. THE ATLAS BEAR
The African Atlas Bear, once inhabiting the Atlas Mountains of North Africa, from Morocco in the west and Libya in the East, was a very large bear that weighed up to 900 pounds, and was easily identified for its dark fur on his back and red fur on its underside. This humongous creature ruled the mountains until their decline in the 1870s. The Atlas bear was hunted to extinction by humans for nearly 2,000 years, making it yet another extinction caused by man.

7. THE SMALL MAURITIAN FLYING FOX
The Small Mauritian flying fox once occupied the Mauritius and Reunion islands in the Indian Ocean until the 19th century when they seized to existence. The Mauritian flying fox faced extinction due to a lot of reasons such as the competition for food from other evasive species such as the Indian Mynah, (an aggressive bird that competes for nesting sites), the small Indian Civet( a predator of the flying fox) and rats (which prey on eggs and the flying fox youngsters. But even with all these biological issues, it has been affirmed that the flying fox faced extinction primarily due to habitat loss caused by deforestation by humans, and the hunting of these creatures. The flying fox is yet another creature that the next generation will never see due to the affairs of man.
These are a few of the many creatures that have gone extinct in Africa. And one constant cause for their extinction has pointed to human activities. Since humans cannot be chased off the continent, what then can be done to protect safeguard, and conserve the African wildlife? The next subheading will give answers to this question.

4 WAYS OF CONSERVINGTHE AFRICAN WILDLIFE

1. Protected Areas
Due to the excessive hunting and poaching of African wildlife, many animals have gone extinct. To tackle this, the development and creation of protected areas or sanctuaries for these animals need to be built. Such protected sanctuary will protect them from their human assailant, and other factors that cause the extinction of wildlife.

2. Anti-poaching Efforts
Poaching is a heinous crime that has caused the extinction of many animals. To curb this evil, rigorous antipoaching efforts need to be implemented. There are need for more trusted officers, with state-of-the-art training, and technological advancements such as the use of GPS, and drones in searching for and combating these poachers. This one wants to bring the community up to speed and to explain to them the results of poaching, and how they too can help in combating poachers.

3. Sustainable Tourism
There is a need for the government to create more tourist attractions and wildlife views for tourists to come visit. The creation of such tourist centers would not just generate income for the nation’s economy, but will also create more job opportunities for the locals of the community, giving them more reason to join the fight against poaching and to defend these animals.

4. Educate the newer generation
The newer generation is the future. The lives of these animals will one day be in their hands. To help them make good decisions that will protect these animals in the future, they have to be educated now. They need to understand what this continent has lost, so they can continue to build back Africa to even better than it was before.

CONCLUSION
The famous philosopher George Santayana in his writing dispersed wisdom when he said “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. The past of Africa cannot be spoken about without the mention of carnage, oppression, and death. These factors have affected almost all facets of African life, even its wildlife. Before now, poaching used to mean hunting down a few rabbits to feed one’s family, but today, this has become a dirty and ungodly business. In the last survey conducted, it was established that a minimum of 1,000 endangered species are killed daily in Africa. As disturbing as this digit is, it is true. Due to man’s activities, Africa, a once-upon-a-time paradise, has slowly turned into a graveyard. With all this considered, the need to put factors in place to erode this evil, cannot be overstated. By educating the younger generations, sustaining tourism, implementing rigorous anti-poaching efforts, and building sanctuaries for these beautiful creatures, we might have a chance to do what our ancestors couldn’t and save the African wildlife. Alone, these strategies might feel like nothing compared to the evil being done to these animals daily, but when combined, these factors can help protect and conserve the rich and diverse wildlife found across Africa.

Leave a Reply