Barbary Lions photograph by Erni via Shutterstock
These beautiful lions have a very distinctive face shape; a long, proud snout and a thick mane of hair made it a wild beauty of not just Africa but also Europe. It is not clear when the Barbary lion went extinct, but it is clear why. No prizes for guessing—yes, once again, they were hunted by humans. One story claims that a hunter shot the last wild Barbary lion in 1942, others say as late as 1960.
There are still a handful of Barbary lion descendents alive today, but they are all in captivity. It is questionable whether they will ever flourish again in the wild.
6. Atlas Bear
Illustration comparing the Atlas bear to the Eurasian brown bear by Joseph J. Ortega
The Atlas bear was the only ever species of bear native to Africa. They lived in the northwest region of the continent, around the Atlas Mountains. The bears were hunted and captured in the time of the Roman Empire and entered in the gladiator fighting pits.
Their numbers continued to decrease during the Middle Ages as their forests were destroyed for timber. The last Atlas bear was shot and killed in the mid-1800s.