The Carpathian Wisent was a subspecies of European Bison native to the Carpathian mountain range, Moldavia, and Transylvania.
The Carpathian Wisent resembled the European Bison in that its coat was dense and dark brown to golden brown in color. The neck was short, maned, and thick, topped by a shoulder hump. The head is carried relatively high. The horns, found in both sexes, projected outwards and curved upwards and slightly forwards.
The encroachment of humans and their domesticated animals on its range, as well as increased hunting, lead to the extinction of the species. The last Carpathian Wisent was shot in Maramureș in 1852.
The Caribbean monk seal, West Indian seal or sea wolf was a species of seal native to the warm temperate, subtropical and tropical waters of the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and the west Atlantic Ocean. The seal had a relatively large, long, robust body, that could grow to be 8 ft in length and weigh between 375 to 600 lb. The Caribbean monk seal had a distinctive head and face. Their coloration was brownish and grayish with a lighter underside. They were also known to have algae growing on their fur, giving them a slight green tinge.
The first historical mention of the Caribbean monk seal is recorded in the account of the second voyage of Christopher Columbus. Wherein the famous explorer killed eight of the animals while they rested on the beach. The animals were routinely slaughtered in large animals for their oil. By 1850 so many seals had been killed that there were no longer sufficient numbers for them to be commercially hunted.
The last confirmed sighting of the seal was in 1952 in the Caribbean Sea at Seranilla Bank, between Jamaica and the Yucatán Peninsula. After an extensive five-year study, the Monk seal was declared extinct in 2008.
The Cape Lion was native to the Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of the African continent. It is believed the lion was the largest and heaviest of the sub-Saharan lions. The Cape Lion was recognizable by it thick black mane and black tipped ears. The species was especially noted for its “luxuriant and extensive manes.”
The Cape Lion, unlike most other extinct big cats, was hunted to extinction. Unlike other species that slowly driven extinct by habitat loss or removal of their prey. The last known adult was killed in South Africa in 1858. A juvenile was captured by an explorer a couple of decades later but died in captivity shortly thereafter.
In 2000, South African zoo director John Spence believed he had located a pair of the Lion in captivity. The putative Cape Lions were living at the Novosibirsk Zoo in Russia. Spence announced plans to perform us genetic testing to determine if the lions truly were Cape Lions. If so, a captive breeding program would be implemented with the hopes of bringing the species back from extinction.
Unfortunately, Spence died in 2010 and the Novosibirsk Zoo closed a couple of years later.
California Grizzly Bear (Ursus arctos californicus)
The California Grizzly Bear, once considered its own species Ursus horribilis, was a subspecies of the North American Brown Bear or Grizzly Bear. The California Grizzly was very closely related to the Grizzly Bears of the southern coasts of Alaska. The bear was known, and lauded, for its size, strength, and beauty. The bear shared its physiology with the Kodiak Bear, though it appears to not have had the pronounced shoulder hump those bears do.
Experts estimate that the California Grizzly population was approximately 10,000 at its peak, around the 1820s and 1830s. The bears were a common sight to the Indians, the Spaniards, and the flood of Americans arriving during and after the Gold Rush. The animal was endemic to the lowlands and foothills of the state from the Sierras down to the deserts in the south. The expansion of humans into California and Grizzly habitat after the Gold Rush lead to direct competition between the two species. California newspapers of the late nineteenth century were replete with accounts of grizzlies raiding livestock and occasionally killing humans. By the end of the 1800s, the animal could only be found in the Santa Ana Mountains, the Southern Sierra Nevada, the mountains of Santa Barbara County, and the San Gabriel Mountains.
It is believed the last California Grizzly was killed in 1922 in Tulare County.