We cannot discuss
about Mauritian wildlife without
mentioning the dodo, a bird the size of
a large turkey, shown in the coat and
arms of the island. It can be seen also
on T-shirts and stuffed animals in the
windows of souvenir shops because it was
exterminated by Dutch settlers, hungry
at the end of the seventeenth century.
Since then, the dodo has become a symbol
of extint species in Mauritius, as well
as a symbolic figure of the island.
Although this bird have been
exterminated, Mauritians and tourists
have immortalized it. The dodo is
everywhere, plush, wood or porcelain on
T-shirts, on the stamps.
The Dodo is the national emblem of
The dodo was a bird of the size of a
turkey, weighing about 20 kg and
measuring about 1 meter.
He was short on his legs with a curved
beak, he used to live in Mauritius in
the Mascarene archipelago.
Due to the the absence of predators, he
had lost his ability to fly. Incredibly
awkward in her movements, it is for this
reason that Mauritians have givenn him
the nikname Dodo.
He built his nest in a pyramid on the
floor, through the palm leaves. It lays
a single egg at a time in the nest which
was in turn brooded by the parents
small dodo takes time to develop. The
life expectancy ot the dodo was at least
30 years. Unfortunately, as the nest was
built right on the ground, the
offsprings of the dodo enjoyed little
protection against the introduction of
predators such as dogs and wild pigs.
The egg of the dodo was often trampled
and eaten by these animals.
Portuguese Afonso de Albuquerque and his
men discovered the island of Mauritius
and the dodo, in 1598. Due to the
isolation of the island and the absence
of human beings, the dodo greeted the
new visitors with naivete, but was
quickly fooled by men. It was an easy
prey and was ruthlessly exterminated.
The last dodo died in 1681. The
reproduction of the extinct animal can
be admired at the Museum of Natural
History in Port Louis thanks to a
naturalist who in 1865 discovered a
complete skeleton of the dodo near
The Dodo took revenge on the man. It is
still there and exposed in the shops,
the signboards of restaurants and shops.
The Dodo still make the joy of young and
old, as it is described as an animal
humble, kind and naive. Unable to defend
itself against predators and that's what
caused its extinction