This Day in Environmental History – On February 21, 1918 the last remaining Carolina Parakeet died at the Cincinnati Zoo marking its complete extinction. The Carolina Parakeet was the only parrot species native to the Southeastern and Midwest states of the US. Its decline began with European colonization as a function old growth forest habitat destruction. Their final extinction has also been linked to the introduction of the honeybee to the US which overtook many of the bird’s nesting sites. Ironically, the honeybee is not native to the US but was rather imported from Europe, the American Indians often referred to them as “white man’s flies”.

Sarah the cheetah, who holds the world record as fastest land animal, has died at 15.

She was euthanized Wednesday “due to a diminishing quality of life,” the Cincinnati Zoo says in a statement. The average lifespan of a cheetah is 8-12 years, according to the zoo.

Sarah (also named Sahara) was famous for her astonishing speed. We blogged about her on the Two-Way back in 2009, when she set the speed record for land mammals: 100 meters in 6.13 seconds.

Three years later, she smashed her own record and set a new one: 100 meters in 5.95 seconds. (For context, Usain Bolt’s best time — and humankind’s best effort — is 9.58 seconds.)

Sarah The Cheetah, World’s Fastest Land Animal, Dies At 15

Photo: Cincinnati Zoo
Caption: The cheetah Sarah and the Anatolian shepherd Alexa were raised together and became lifelong companions.