A survey by animal charity Noah’s Ark has exposed a remarkable lack of knowledge about the natural world from the British public.
The curious beliefs held by the public include the fact that 14% of Britons think that the woolly mammoth is endangered, when it is extinct, while more than 1 in ten also believe that the dodo still exists.
Despite decades of programmes by David Attenborough, fewer than half of the country know that bees are endangered, while the majority believe that polar bears, which are plentiful, are in trouble. More than a third (35%) think black bears are endangered, while 34% also think koala bears are endangered, Neither species is at risk.
The survey also showed a stunning ignorance of what animals look like. A majority of the 2,000 people surveyed incorrectly identified a photo of a cayote as a Canadian fox, with many picking wolf. Only 20% correctly guessed the animal.
86% of people surveyed couldn’t correctly guess what a humpback whale was, and 63% couldn’t correctly identify an ox.