Lost Forever: Caribbean Monk Seal

Cms-newyorkzoologicalsociety1910.jpgIts time to look backwards at the animals of the past that couldn’t quite survive into our present. This week we will be looking into the Caribbean Monk Seal (Neomonachus tropcicalis) and what ultimately led to its extinction.
The Caribbean Monk Seal went extinct in 1952 with the last confirmed sighting off Serranilla Bank. These seals used to inhabit the Caribbean Sea and they were the first type of seal to go extinct from human causes.

220px-Caribbean_monk_seals_New_York.jpgThey could be found in the water around rocky or sandy coastline and islands which they used for resting and breeding. Their diet is unknown but was believed to be eels, lobsters, octopus and reef fish.

The only known predators of the Caribbean Monk Seal were sharks and humans. They were hunted for their skins and oil and were also put in danger due to the fishing industry. It was ultimately the tough pressures from humans that led to their extinction.

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