The Story of Martha

Martha_last_passenger_pigeon_1914By the time we realized the passenger pigeon was in real trouble, it was too late. The last known wild pigeon was killed in Ohio in 1900. After that, a single captive flock existed here at the Cincinnati Zoo. Breeding attempts failed, and by 1910, a lone female named Martha remained. A reward of $1,000 was offered to anyone who could supply a mate for Martha, but none was found. When Martha passed away on September 1, 1914, it was the first documented extinction of a species at the hand of man. Her body was frozen and now resides at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.