He probably didn't use nearly enough butter, either.
Okay, so that's some birds and some lobster knockoffs. What about animals everyone cares about? Well, in 2012, a conservation group in South Africa made preparations to dye the horn of an endangered black rhino. This dye doesn't hurt the animal, but renders the horn totally worthless to poachers. That said, it's a bit dangerous to attempt to mess with the horn of a very awake rhino, so it needed to be tranquilized first.
However, despite what movies may have shown you, tranquilizing a large animal is a delicate process which requires precise math. Otherwise, you're probably going to kill the animal. In the case of our black rhino, he went into convulsions and died after being shot. Even worse, the group had invited various members of the media out to see how the procedure was done, so the whole fiasco was thoroughly documented.
"Make sure you get in close so you see the whole thing!"
Fucking Macquarie Island
Macqaurie Island is a small piece of land owned by Australia that's about halfway to Antarctica, and those are pretty much the only pleasant things we can say about it. Back in the day, it was a popular destination for seal hunters, who inadvertently let a whole bunch of rats off of their ships and onto the island. Taking their plans straight out of Tom & Jerry, these seal hunters thought it'd be a great idea to let some cats loose on the island. Unfortunately, nobody seemed to inform the cats of what their job was.
Geoff Copson/Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service
"Right-o, gents, strut around like we own the place, same as always."
Around the same time as the introduction of the cats, fur trappers also brought rabbits to the island to serve as a food source for potential shipwreck survivors. As a result, the cats now had the luxury of rabbit instead of rat for dinner. Meanwhile, the rabbits continued to breed like, well, rabbits, and the cat population exploded accordingly.
Thinking that by reducing the number of rabbits, the cat population would decrease, Australia decided to introduce an actual plague: myxomatosis, a virulent disease which kills most rabbits within two weeks of contracting it. After they released their bunny WMD on the island, the rabbit population fell from 130,000 to 20,000 in less than 10 years. All this did was cause the cats to look at rabbit as more of a delicacy, and they turned their focus to the island's flightless birds instead, wiping out two native species all on their own.
C. Potter/Australian Department of the Environment
"I'm not even hungry."
Finally, Australia simply decided to shoot all the cats, and succeeded. Unfortunately, this caused the rabbit population to spike right back up, and away went the island's plants again. This time, it got so bad that the lack of vegetation caused a landslide, which in turn wiped out an entire colony of penguins just for good measure. With a government-endorsed "Fuck this," Australia decided to stop screwing around and killed the rabbits using poisoned bait. By 2014, the island was finally declared rabbit-free, and Australia was boasting of "the most successful pest eradication program ever."
Chris writes for his website and tweets.