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Caribbean Monk Seal Extinct, U.S. Officials Declare

from National Geographic News

Federal officials in the U.S. have confirmed what biologists have long thought: The Caribbean monk seal has gone the way of the dodo.

Humans hunting the docile creatures for food, skins, and blubber left the population unsustainable, say biologists, who warn that Mediterranean and Hawaiian monk seals could be the next to go.

The last confirmed sighting of a wild Caribbean monk seal was in 1952 in the waters between Jamaica and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Fisheries Service confirmed last Friday that the species is now extinct.

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