A Flamingo at Twycross Zoo. Photo Credit: Alicja Pyszka-Franceschini.

The story of the Tasmanian Tiger is a sad one. Once upon a time the Tasmanian Tiger lived in Australia and Tasmania. When European settlers arrived they saw the Tasmanian Tiger as a threat and hunted and killed them. The Tasmanian Tiger was a top predator and had stripes like a Tiger and looked a bit like a Wolf – but is was actually completely different.

The last wild Tasmanian Tiger was shot in 1930 and the last zoo animals died in 1936. We say that the species was Extinct in the Wild in 1930 and completely Extinct in 1936.

Unfortunately the Tasmanian Tiger was not the only one. You may have heard of the Dodo. Actually since 1500 there have been 869 extinctions. You can only ever see these in museums now. 869 is many more than there should be. The natural extinction rate is 0 to 1 every 500 years.

So humans and human activity have caused a lot of damage. There are many species today at great risk too. When you go to a zoo you may spot the “Endangered” signs next to the names of the animals. Download a fact sheet here.

What can we do?

We can support our local conservation charities. In the UK there are some important zoos that help with breeding and science. Twycross Zoo in the East Midlands is a good example.

We can avoid products and foods that damage habitats. A lot of sweet food contains palm oil. People have been cutting down rainforest to plant palm oil plantations. Start to read the ingredients and buy palm oil free alternatives instead.

We can talk about it. Don’t forget the power of our conversations.

Zebras at Twycross Zoo. Photo Credit: Alicja Pyszka-Franceschini.