From Sciencemag.org:

JENA, GERMANY—On the island of Honshū in Japan, farmers long appreciated a small gray wolf as a guardian of their crops because its howls warned them of raiders such as wild boars. In folklore, “the Honshū wolf” was seen as a spirit of the forest and honored with shrines. But when the wolves got rabies from dogs in the 19th century, farmers shot and poisoned them until the last wolf died in 1905.

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