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The Eastern Puma was officially declared extinct early this year by U.S Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).
Many years prior to this tragic declaration, the species could be found in the eastern states of the country – particularly along the Mississippi River.
Endangered to extinct
However, the Eastern Puma had been listed as an endangered species for some time – and hasn’t been seen in the wild in over 80 years.
A statement released by the USFWS said: “Given the period of time that has passed without verification of even a single Eastern puma, the Service concludes that the last remaining members of this subspecies perished decades ago.”
The cats’ numbers have reportedly been dropping for over 100 years, in part due to hunting, habitat destruction, and systematic trapping.
The human-driven assault on pumas was, in part, motivated by the animals interfering with the farming of livestock.
Pumas are not the only species to go extinct at the hands of humans – each day as a result of the human species’ destructive dietary choices.
Further loss of America’s wild cats could severely disrupt the nation’s ecological balance, according to the USFWS.
It said: “We need large carnivores like cougars to keep the wild food web healthy. Cougars would curb deer overpopulation and tick-borne diseases that threaten human health.”