Mauritius, a small island nation in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar, was once home to the flightless dodo bird, which Dutch settlers hunted to extinction in the 1600s.
The dodo bird was an easy prey to settlers due to its weight and inability to fly, and became extinct less than eighty years after it was first sighted by the Europeans.
Mauritius was first ruled by the Dutch and then by the French after the Dutch abandoned it.
Most people in Mauritius speak Mauritian Creole, French and English.
The estimated population of Mauritius in 2010 is about 1 million people.