Human Animal Interactions & History

This list is an introduction to the world of animal, environmental and human interactions. Just a taste. There is a lot more out there.

8000 BCChinaIt is believed that the Chinese became to first to domesticate wild boars about this time.
6380 BCSwedenSwedish archaeologists in 2020 reported finding the remains of a dog at a human burial site dating to about this time in southern Sweden. The dog was buried with a person near the town of Solvesborg.
2000 BCEgyptEgyptians domesticated the cat in order to catch snakes.
1000 BCEgyptCamels were domesticated about this time.
800Al-Jahiz (d.868), theologian and scholar, wrote nearly two hundred works, including, The Book of animals, which merges discussions of zoology with philosophy.
1538PolandPoland's King Sigismund imposed the death penalty for bison poaching.
1637PolandThe last recorded auroch, a wild antecedent of modern domestic cattle, died in Poland's Jaktorow Forest.
1657USA (Massachusetts)The last wolf in Boston, Mass., was killed.
1681The dodo bird became extinct on Mauritius.
1761FranceGeorge-Louis Leclerc (1707-1788), Comte de Buffon, French naturalist and theoretical biologist published the 9th volume of his 35 volume work titled "Histoire Naturelle, Generale, et Particuliere," an attempt to record all that was known of the world of nature.
1770AprilPuerto RicoCockfighting in Puerto Rico, introduced by Spain in the 16th century, was officially recognized for the first time.
1810USA (Massachusetts)Boston-based whalers slaughtered an estimated 150,000 fur seals on the Farallon Islands
1977Fur seals began to return n the Farallon Island
1816Naturalist Adelbert von Chamisso spent a month around SF Bay while aboard the Russian ship Rurik, which was circumnavigating the globe. Captain Otto von Kotzebue said the Gov. of California invited the crew to witness a bear and bull fight. Spanish troops captured a grizzly bear and a wild bull and chained them for battle on a beach.
1820Cats were introduce to Macquarie Island, located half-way between New Zealand and Antarctica.
1878Rabbits were introduce to Macquarie Island
1824June16United Kingdom (Britain)The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was formed at Old Slaughter’s Coffee House in London under the direction of Arthur Broome.
1826United Kingdom (Britain)John James Audubon (1785-1851), painter and ornithologist, arrived in Britain to oversee the production of his "Birds of America." Although the 1st engravings were done in Edinburgh the project was soon transferred to London and completed over the next 12 years.
1826The Zoological Society of London was established by Sir Stamford Raffles and Sir Humphry Davy.
1828April27The London Zoo opened to fellows of the Zoological Society of London. It was originally intended to be used as a collection for scientific study. As of 2017 it was the world's oldest scientific zoo and housed 20,166 animals.
1836The Swedish Hunter’s Association was founded with the aim of building up the moose population, which had dropped to some 300.
1839The original printing of John James Audubon’s “Birds of America” was completed in Europe. Fewer than 200 subscribers ordered the complete set of 400 prints.
1842John James Audubon made his last mammal-painting expedition up the Missouri River. He made sketches and collected specimens for his book: "The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America." The work was later completed by his 2 sons and Rev. John Bachman.
1847The London Zoo opened to the public to aid funding.
1851In the SF Bay Area a nearly weeklong bull and bear fiesta at Mission Santa Clara featured 12 bulls, two grizzly bears and a considerable number of Indians of whom four were killed on the 2nd day.
1852May1San Francisco’s Board of Aldermen passed Ordnance 228 making it illegal to hold bullfights or to exhibit or fight other animals east of larking and Ninth streets or to advertise the fights on Sundays.
1861Thailand's King Mongkut offered to send a pair of elephants to the United States as a gift of the friendship between the two countries. President Abraham Lincoln politely declined.
1862JuneSF Lawmakers signed a petition to anoint Lazarus (d.1963) and Bummer (d.1865), 2 popular rat catching dogs, as official city property and exempt from the recently passed muzzle law. In 1984 Malcolm E. Barker authored “Bummer & Lazarus: San Francisco’s Famous Dogs.”
1874Cattleman Charles Goodnight rounded up 5 orphaned buffalo calves and set them loose on 10,000 acres in the Palo Duro Canyon of the Texas Panhandle. The herd grew to 250 animals and a number were sent to start herds elsewhere. In 1997 the herd was put under the guardianship of the state.
1883US big circus owners P.T. Barnum and Adam Forepaugh engaged in a “White Elephant War” to gain audience share. The press discovered that Forepaugh’s elephant, named Light of Asia, was painted. It died a year later. The story was later told by Michael Daly in “Topsy: The Startling Story of the Crooked-Tailed Elephant, P.T. Barnum, and the American Wizard, Thomas Edison” (2013).
1885Sept15Jumbo (b.~1860), a circus elephant, was killed in Ontario, Canada, after being struck by a goods train while being loaded into a circus carriage. In 2014 John Sutherland authored “Jumbo: The Unauthorized Biography of a Victorian Sensation.”
1890In California the first opossums were released by humans in Los Angeles County about this time. Tow more releases were documented in 1910 and 1924.
1897Wolves disappeared from the Netherlands.
2011Wolves spotted in Netherlands. Thought to be extinct since 1897.
1898March26In South Africa the Sabi Game Reserve, the world's 1st official designated game reserve, opened.
1898Cockfighting in Puerto Rico was banned after the US invaded the island.
1900May25President William McKinley signed the Lacey Act, 16 U.S.C. § 3371–3378, to defend fauna from poachers. It banned the illegal commercial transportation of wildlife. The conservation law was introduced by Iowa Rep. John F. Lacey. It has been amended several times. The most significant times were in 1969, 1981, and in 1989.
1969Lacey Act, 16 U.S.C. § 3371–3378, (defend fauna from poachers) amended.
1981Lacey Act, 16 U.S.C. § 3371–3378, (defend fauna from poachers) amended.
1989Lacey Act, 16 U.S.C. § 3371–3378, (defend fauna from poachers) amended.
1900The puffin was almost made extinct in the Westmann Islands about this time because of harvesting. The puffin was hunted for its down which was exported to Denmark. The hunting was banned for 30 years and when it was harvested again Icelanders started using a hunting method from the Faroe Islands, where the puffins are caught in a net on a long pole.
1905East Coasters including Theodore Roosevelt, Andrew Carnegie and Frederic Remington set up the American Bison Society.
1907Theodore Roosevelt, Andrew Carnegie and Frederic Remington sent 15 animals by rail to the new Wichita Bison Refuge in Oklahoma.
1935American Bison Society met for the last time. The society was revitalized in 2005 to secure the ecological future of the animal. In 2009 Steven Rinella authored “American Buffalo
2005American Bison Society was revitalized to secure the ecological future of the animal.
1907Oct22The five Ringling brothers of Baraboo, Wisconsin, bought out Barnum & Bailey Circus to form the Greatest Show on Earth.
1907Clarence Birdseye, an Amherst biology student, began selling bobcat and coyote hide from traders in New Mexico, purchased for fifty cents, to furriers in New York for a dollar and a quarter. In 1912 he moved to Labrador to farm foxes and trade furs.
1907China’s first public park opened when a former imperial garden was turned into a zoo, the “Park of Ten Thousand Animals.”
1909Nov1USA (California)In San Francisco a ban on cows went into effect, except for a narrow district that was set apart for handling cattle to be slaughtered. A new ordnance made it unlawful to keep more than 2 cows and provided that when 2 cows are kept within city limits, at least an acre of land must be provided for their pasturage.
1910Feb17USA (California)In San Francisco 3 elephants appearing at a Broadway vaudeville house went on a rampage while parading in North Beach.
1911Wild oysters in SF Bay Area were pretty much wiped out by this time. The native Olympia oyster, Ostrea lurida, had once blanketed the region from Southern California to Southeastern Alaska. In 2012 a scientific study said the Olympia oyster was functionally extinct.
1914Oct14USA (California)The Health Dept. of San Francisco’s reported on the petition of the Jones Draying Co. that its stable at 847 Harrison, where 35 horses are kept, should be cleaned and whitewashed. The manager maintained that cobwebs helped control flies much better than whitewash.
1914USA (Florida)Florida’s Jacksonville Zoo began with a single red deer fawn.
1918Dec18USA (California)In San Francisco police recovered 55 suckling pigs stolen from the Hog Raising Company at Evans and Mendell. More than 150 pigs had been stolen during the past six weeks by children working there.
1924The last known native wolf in California was trapped and killed in Lassen County. In 2011 a wolf named OR7 entered northern California from Oregon.
1926The last grey wolf disappeared from the Yellowstone region.
1973A few grey wolves remained in northern Michigan and Minnesota.
1995The federal government reintroduced grey wolves to the greater Yellowstone region (Idaho, Montana, Wyoming)
1927USA (Massachusetts)New Bedford, Massachusetts sent out its last whaler, the John R. Mantra.
1929Jan29USA (New Jersey)The first seeing-eye Dog Guide School in the United States received their charter. Seeing Eye, Inc., was founded in Morris Township, New Jersey, by Dorothy Harrison Eustus. In February Morris Frank and Jack Humphrey began operating the 1st Seeing Eye school in the US in Nashville, Tenn. Frank had trained under Humphrey in Switzerland at a kennel owned by Dorothy Eustis. Buddy was Frank's 1st dog and in 1936 became the 1st seeing-eye dog to ride as a passenger on an American commercial airline.
1930Sept10USA (California)A Santa Fe passenger train killed over 600 sheep near Stockton, Ca. T. Urrizola Escalon, the herder, was believed to have driven the sheep onto the track and committed suicide. He left a note that said “Farewell, you will never see me again.”
1933AugThe Puerto Rico legislature forced the governor to reinstate cockfighting, which had been banned, by threatening to block the budget. It won official status and became known as the "gentleman's sport" because of its honor-based betting system in which men yell bets at each other and later pay them.
1934GermanyIn Germany Herman Goering, Nazi party official, approved a request from the Reich Forestry Service to release North American raccoons into the wild. By 2007 there were over a million raccoons living in Germany.
1935Dec6USA (California)The San Francisco Chronicle reported that rats now exceeded city’s population of people by a factor of 3 to 1.
1935AustraliaIn Australia cane toads (Bufo marinus) from Hawaii were introduced to wipe out beetles that were devastating Queensland's sugar cane industry. The beetles survived and the toads became a pest and a threat to the native quolls, small spotted marsupials.
1936June18USA (California)In San Francisco Wally the elephant (25) was shot to death following the June 16 trampling death of Fleishhacker Zoo keeper Edward Brown (42).
1936Nov9ChinaIn China Ruth Harkness and her party found a 3-lb giant panda cub, eyes not yet open, in a hollow tree. They named the cub Su-Lin - Chinese for "something very cute."
1936Dec18USA (California)Su-Lin, the 1st giant panda to come to US from China, arrived in SF. The giant panda, captured by Ruth Harkness, was the 1st ever seen in the US.
1936India’s Jim Corbett National Park was established to provide endangered Bengal tigers with safe territory.
1937Ceylon (Sri Lanka) banned the capture of wild elephants.
1938March22Officials at San Quentin Prison tested the new gas chamber using a little pig. The warden had refused to permit the use of a dog.
1939The film "Jesse James" starred Henry Fonda and Tyrone Power. It was directed by Henry King. A horse was forced to leap to its death during the making of the film. This sparked the creation of The American Humane Association’s Film and Television Unit in 1940 to monitor animal use on movie sets.
1945Moose hunting during this period was banned in Maine due to their scarce numbers.
1945Maria Dickin decorated Rip, a dog, for finding more than 100 people trapped by German bomb damage in World War II. Dickin was the creator of the Dickin Medal program, Britain's highest honor for animals. Rip died in 1948 and is buried in a pet charity cemetery in east London. In 2009 the medal sold at auction in London on Friday for 24,250 pounds ($35,700).
1948Oct5FranceThe International Union for Conservation of Nature's Species Survival Commission (IUCN) was founded in France. It is composed of biologists who maintain a list of threatened species and is considered the world's largest and most significant environmental conservation organization.
1948OctThe Int’l. Union for the Protection of Nature was formed. In 1956 it changed its name to the Int’l. Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUPN).