10 animals that are being eaten to extinction in the 21st century

Around 2 million years ago our ancestors first began the act of purposefully hunting and killing animals in the grasslands of Africa for food. Coincidentally, the fossil record shows that it was around this time that our brains and bodies grew in size—quite possibly fuelled by our new diet—and it wasn’t long (evolutionarily speaking) before we left Africa. As our population grew and we spread out across the continents, evidence suggests that our arrival also led to many species of the Pleistocene era being hunted to extinction, most famously the legendary wooly mammoth.

Nowadays we are much more selective about what prey we consume—moreover we are now making conscious efforts to protect many species from extinction. Nonetheless, a large proportion of our burgeoning population of 7 billion still relies on a wild animal prey base—one that is depleting ever more rapidly, and pushing many species towards exhaustion. Here are just 10 animals out of countless hundreds that are still being eaten to extinction in the 21st century.