December 16th, 2005

New Zealand

Kiwi ingenuity.

I have heard it said that "if anyone can, a Kiwi can", and a fact I discovered today has further convinced me that this is true. There is only one species known to have been made extinct entirely due to the actions of a single individual, and that is the Stephens Island wren. It lived rather appropriately on Stephens Island in northern Marlborough, New Zealand and in 1894, the entire species was killed by Tibbles, the lighthouse keeper's cat.

Yep. We New Zealanders were the first to give women the vote, we have the greatest rugby team in history, we conquered Mount Everest ... and a single individual made one of our species extinct. If anyone can, a Kiwi and his cat can.
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