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cincinnati zoo

from extincti animals, extinction, passenger pigeons posted in history

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cincinnati zoo
3400 vine st
cincinnati, ohio 45220

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posted by pete_nice #

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Passenger pigeons were at one time the most abundant birds in North America. Estimates of their population in the United States at the time of European arrival were between 3-5 billion. On September 1, 1914, the last passenger pigeon (named Martha) died at the Cincinnati Zoo.

According to a 2014 study by Taiwanese biologist Chih-Ming Hung, the primary reasons for their extinction were commercial exploitation of pigeon meat on a massive scale and loss of habitat.

The methods for hunting the bird read like an adaption of medieval torture methods: cut down trees with nests, set the tree on fire, poison the fire with sulfur to intoxicate them, etc.

The dead pigeons were then stacked onto rail cars, shipped across the country, and sold by the dozen. The meat was a cheap source of protein for the poor and slaves, and it was even used to fatten pigs.

Thanks for the meal, pigeons!

History in song form: Martha, Last of the Passenger Pigeons