...well, not YOUR sins, actually. You weren't even born when said ancestor of the noble elephant roamed the Earth [I was, of course, but I was a "gatherer", not a "hunter". Just want to clarify that]. But according to new scientific research [the non-scientific version can be found here: http://news.yahoo.com/g/livescience/studyhumansdrovefinalnailintomammothcoffin], the first humans may have caused the last mammoth.
According to scientists in Spain, who did careful reconstructions of mammoth populations and lifestyles [surprisingly, the mammoth preferred techno to hip-hop. Who knew?], the big mammoth-offer was a change in climate around 8,000 - 6,000BC. The large-tusked beasties apparently preferred cooler temperatures [so why don't we find their carcasses around Buffalo, well-know for its tepid temperatures? Answer me that, science-types!], but thermometers were starting to rise during this era. But the scientists noted that mammoths had survived an earlier period of warming temps almost 100 thousand years earlier. So what finally offed the mammoth?
It turns out that, around the time of the second warm-up [8,000 - 6,000 BC, you'll recall. If not, re-read the last paragraph. Then cut back a bit on your social drug use...], humans took advantage of warmer conditions to head North, into what we now call "Europe" [the first humans in the vicinity called it, "Gloria". No one is exactly sure why]. By that time the mammoth population had dropped so far that, according to the Spanish reconstruction [which sounds like something they'd done after the Second World War], if every man, woman and child killed only one mammoth every three years, the population would collapse in on itself [or something like that]. Of course, not every cave-person filled his or her mammoth quota, but enough did [and some greedy bastards killed two, or even three] to cause the extinction of the Woolly Mammoth.
Is there a moral to all this? I don't know, but, given the current "environmental" practices in use around the Globe, I wonder if future scientists [if there are scientists. Or a future] will consider this era as environmentally illiterate as that of the Ancient Ones...