Rus Articles Journal

How Stellerova a cow disappeared?

History of a cow of Steller are a sad narration how carelessly the mankind treats kind and trustful beings.

My acquaintance to a sea cow (more true, with what from her remained) took place in the far childhood during excursion in the museum of local lore located in my hometown of Khabarovsk. The huge skeleton unknown to me beings made indelible impression on me. And I decided to learn history of the Stellerovy cow.

Steller`s cow was found by the scientist - the naturalist George Steller in 1741 under very tragic circumstances. On the way back from Alaska to Kamchatka the ship of expedition of Vitus Beringa was cast ashore the unknown island where during the compelled wintering the captain and a half of team died. Later this island was called by the name of Beringa. Exactly here the scientist Steller for the first time saw a sea cow who was called by last name the researcher subsequently.

Those years the huge great number of these harmless mammals inhabited the Commander Islands, meeting also on Kamchatka and Kuriles. What was represented by a sea cow? This big (to 10 meters in length and weighing up to 4 tons) a mammal with the doubled tail which is similar to whale. The harmless animal lived in small bays, eating seaweed, than one more name - a skit deserved to itself.

Steller`s cow with big trust treated people, swimming up to coast is so close that she could even be stroked. But, unfortunately, to many people had no time for tendernesses, and meat of a sea cow was tasty, nothing ceding beef. To especially local population fat of this mammal was fallen in love - it had very pleasant smell and taste, and surpassed fat of others in the qualities sea and pets. This fat had unique property - to be stored long even in the hottest days. The cow also milked and - fat and sweet, similar to sheep milk.

In the works Steller noted unusual forgiveness of animals. If to hurt the sea cow who swam up too close to the coast, then she left, but soon forgot offenses and again came back. Catching of sea cows happened by means of big hooks to which the long rope is attached. The hunter was in the boat, and about thirty people stood on the coast and held a rope.

The considerable role in disappearance of a sea cow was played by her excessive greed to food. These insatiable animals ate constantly that forced them to keep the head under water. Safety and care were unknown to Steller`s cows, and fishermen used trustfulness and carelessness of mammals - it was possible just to float between them by boats and to choose the suitable victim.

The sea cow bitterly paid for the philanthrophy - in twenty seven years after opening of a look the last from representatives of these remarkable animals was killed. In 1768 Stellerova the cow disappeared from the face of the earth, and George Steller remained the only naturalist who saw these nice mammals live and left the detailed description of a look.

So far several full skeletons of a sea cow, a nebolshiyekuska of a skin and a set of separate bones remained. The majority of them became exhibits of the museums, as well as the fullest skeleton of the Stellerovy cow in the world which is stored in the Khabarovsk museum of local lore of Grodekov.

Extermination of a sea cow - one of tragic and ridiculous pages in the history of destruction of animals mankind. Without having managed to bridle in itself thirst of a profit, people ruthlessly finished with one of the most surprising animals on the planet for very short term. Probably, Steller`s cow was very much attractive production for industrialists, besides it was too vulnerable, helpless and small.