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The Last Menagerie Launches Guest Writer Project

From The New York Times August 30th, 2014

On September 1, 1914, Martha, a passenger pigeon who lived in an aviary at the Cincinnati Zoo, was found dead in her cage. At the time, Martha was believed to be the sole passenger pigeon left on Earth, and, in the intervening century, no evidence has emerged to contradict this. The passenger pigeon was once the most numerous bird in North America, perhaps in the world; it’s estimated that when the first European settlers arrived, at least one of every four birds on the continent was a passenger pigeon. The early colonists were awed by the vastness of the flocks, which contained hundreds of millions—perhaps billions—of birds. As late as the eighteen-seventies, passenger pigeons still could be seen passing overhead in astonishing, sky-darkening numbers; then, over the course of just four decades, the species, Ectopistes migratorius, dwindled down to Martha and her companion, a male named George. Then it was just Martha. And then there were none. –Elizabeth Kolbert

To mark this auspicious day, The Last Menagerie is thrilled to launch its first Guest Writer Project post with a piece by San Francisco based writer and artist, LJ Moore about Martha, the last Passenger Pigeon here: Past Future Perfect

martha by LJ Moore

Illustration by LJ Moore

In the coming months, The Last Menagerie will feature a different writer, historian, or artist each month contributing a short piece of writing about one of the animals from the first plate series. Future contributors include: Laura Bliss on The QuaggaAmy Blount Lay on The Dodo and Erin Chapman on The Pyrenean Ibex and The Wooly Mammoth

Stay tuned!!