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Farewell Cookie: Oldest Pink Cockatoo Dies at 83

Sep 01, 2016 04:30 AM EDT
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The oldest resident of the Brookfield Zoo has died. The zoo has released their official statement on Monday.

"On Saturday morning, Cookie suffered a very abrupt decline in his health, prompting the veterinary and animal care staff to make the extremely difficult decision that it was time to peacefully euthanize him," Michael Adkesson, vice president of clinical medicine for Chicago Zoological Society, which runs Brookfield, said in a statement.

Cookie was certified by Guinness World Records as the oldest living parrot in 2014. He remained to be the oldest resident of the zoo, being there since the zoo opened in 1934.

According to Vet Street, cockatoos have an average life span of 40 to 60 years, making Cookie exceed the normal lifespan of his kind. The zoo claims Cookie was well loved and over the years he was sent with toys and cards from all over the world.

Cookie had quite a unique color. His head and neck had pink feathers while the remaining parts had white. He also has a red-and-white crest atop his head.

Speaking to the Chicago Sun-Times, curator Tim Snyder said Cookie had been off display since 2009 after they have noticed that his has developed signs of stress from being around the public. Despite being off the visitors, Cookie remained active in their circle.

He did a complete turnaround and became very active," Snyder said. "He sat in on our meetings. He let everyone know what his feelings were. If he didn't like you, he had a really loud, screechy voice and, if you were talking, he would interrupt you."

But more than the stress, he also had osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, diseases that he got with old age.

"We all know that because he was 83 years old and well past the normal lifespan, it was going to happen eventually," said Snyder. "But it was like he was going to outlive everybody... He was a family member for the department."

A memorial is being planned for Cookie. The zoo has created a memorial fund for those who would like to make a donation.

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