Credit: Giant Salamander Protection International
It's polite to ask before eating the last cookie, or the last piece of cheese, or the last animal of its kind on Earth. Actually, you can't have permission for that last one: you can't eat endangered species. You're just asking for bad karma if you do. And hopefully guilty indigestion. Some cultures crave species that are disappearing from the planet, however, and groups out there are trying to put a stop to it. Here are seven animals that have the bad luck to be tasty:
1. Chinese giant salamanderUgly, but desired. The Chinese giant salamander is considered a delicacy in the land that shares its name, according to WebEcoist. Illegal hunting has brought this creature, the world's largest amphibian, to the brink of extinction, according to BBC News. The giant's flesh can fetch up to $100 per kilogram (2.2 pounds) on the black market. They're not very fast, and easy prey for hunters.
2. Green Sea Turtle
The largest of the hard-shelled sea turtles. The green sea turtle is becoming harder to find, unfortunately. "Once the most abundant of the sea turtle species, the green sea turtle is in serious decline," notes The Humane Society of the United States. "The turtle has a history of exploitation by humans for its flesh, fat and eggs."
Gorilla flesh is also known as bushmeat. It's sold smoked in places like Africa. While local populations may rely on the flesh of gorillas and other wild animals for subsistence, bushmeat also has been exploited for commercial purposes through illegal hunting.
Pangolins are thought to be purveyors of magic and charms, according to the African Wildlife Foundation. "When mixed with bark from certain trees, the scales are thought to neutralize witchcraft and evil spirits," the organization says. "...in some areas pangolins are sacrificed for rainmaking ceremonies, and in others they are hunted for meat."