Today marks the 6th annual Remembrance Day for Lost Species. Remembrance Day is an opportunity to set aside time to memorialize one of those lost species. To create a space that allows us to acknowledge and grieve for what we have lost. It is also a chance for us to tell their story and renew our commitments to ensuring the remaining are preserved and flourish.
This is the premise of my latest project, It Was Very Good, to catalog and remember the animal species lost due to human actions. The first post went live last week: The Atlas Bear. Next week’s will be the Auroch.
Today, though I’m going to set some time aside to mourn the loss of the Australian Thylacine. Eighty years ago the last known Thylacine, Benjamin, died in a zoo. No one living today knows what the Thylacine sounded like. No one is alive today knows how they moved or what their social interactions were. And no one will ever know these things. I think we are poorer for that loss and I think it is something worth mourning over.
There is nothing I, or you, can do for the Thylacine. But, there is also nothing any of us can do when a loved one dies. We acknowledge that loss though. We mourn and remember. As Abi Nielson so aptly put it, “Surely a failure to acknowledge, or to mark the passing of such losses is just one more disconnect between ourselves and the world we inhabit? We are humans, we are animals. We berate our rich politicians for being out of touch with the lives of the majority, while we ourselves remain out of touch with the lives of the majority of animals on this planet.” Remembrance Day is one small way we can help get ourselves back in touch.
A short update this week. With hopefully a longer one coming next! After finding out that Bonehead wants to be one of the cool kids we head back to town and talk to Dr. Cranium. Why do I keep talking to this crazy guy? Well, everyday he will give us poison pills and a health potion so it’s good to stop in. But, if you recall, he also mentioned a rehydration formula he had been working on and that is something that Garcon most definitely wants!
This is the copyright protection schtick again…
Of course you do. Nothing is free in this world, is it? Even though we just gave you some yesterday. We agree to the request anyway and head back out into the valley.
On the way to the slime pond, Perseii stops at the swamp right next to it for something else that might come in handy later:
You never know when the remains of a dead human will come in handy! We pick up the slime and return to Dr. Cranium:
With this we can advance the Domovoi plot. What is that you say? I’ll remind you next time!
The Atlas Bear was the only bear species endemic to the African continent to exist into modern times. The bear’s native habitat was the Atlas range of mountains between Morocco and Libya.
This brown bear is described as being brownish black in color with a reddish belly. It could reach a length of nine feet and weigh up to 1000 pounds.
The expansion of the Roman empire is a likely contributor to the decline of the Atlas Bear with 1000s of them being killed in hunts and captured for killing in public games and executions. Their extinction occurred shortly after the invention of modern firearms.
The last recorded kill of the bear in the wild occurred in the Tetouan Mountains of northern Morocco in 1870.