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The Dodo

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 Mauritius.

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 because the
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 Plaisance.

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





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