I'm not sure how many of you knew of Cookie, but I really wanted to one day go and meet him. While now I can't, I'm so very happy he lived a long and wonderful life surrounded by folks who loved him. Rest in peace Cookie <3
From the zoo's facebook page:
"Chicago Zoological Society staff are mourning the loss of one of Brookfield Zoo’s most beloved and well-known animals: Cookie, an 83-year-old Major Mitchell’s cockatoo. Cookie, who was certified by Guinness World Records as the oldest living parrot in 2014, died on August 27. He was the oldest resident at the zoo and the only remaining member of the original animal collection, which dates back to 1934, when the zoo first opened. Cookie lived well beyond the life expectancy for his species. He arrived at Brookfield Zoo at the age of 1 from Taronga Zoo in Australia. Over the years, Cookie’s popularity grew and he touched many people’s lives. He received many cards, letters, toys, and pictures from admirers around the world. Among his admirers is Dr. Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji, a holy man and healer from Mysore, India, who founded a parrot sanctuary there. When he heard about Cookie, His Holiness and his entourage made a pilgrimage to Brookfield. The Society has set up a memorial fund at CZS.org/Cookie for those who would like to make a donation in memory of Cookie. Contributions will go directly to the Society’s Center for the Science of Animal Care and Welfare for the care, feeding, and well-being of the entire bird collection, as well as all of the animals that call Brookfield Zoo their home. Cookie will be sorely missed by staff and visitors alike."
Thank you Moira for sharing this! Wow, 8 decades is amazing. Cookie will surely be missed by lots of caregivers and fans. I assume he was probably getting a better diet more recently than he was back in the "old days"! He must have enjoyed his life at the zoo to have lived such a long life.
Moira, thank you for sharing such an interesting and heartfelt story about this divine creature which I wasn’t even aware existed until now. I have been inactive on the forum of late so I dropped by just to see what’s new and your post immediately caught my attention. I also got genuinely teary-eyed after seeing his video of adorable gestures and reading more about him this morning because it really touched me personally in a profound way.
There is a close parallel between Cookie and my mother Linda, who just turned 86 a week ago and is as healthy as can be. She also recently became a great-grandmother to one of my niece’s newborn baby girl. I thought - Goodness gracious, this bird has been on Earth almost as long as my mother and nearly 40yrs before my arrival! Now that is truly miraculous and he’s even more grand than George Burns by a ‘cockatoo-to-human’ age comparison. Another very interesting thing I’ve read about Cookie was his curator describing his temperament as “lovable but moody. If he didn’t like you, he’d let you know…He was like a cranky old geezer.” – which is also one of mum’s distinct ‘charms’…and unfortunately much inherited by Yours Truly.
Cookie’s story also made me pause for a moment to contemplate life and mortality of ourselves, our family, our pets, and everyone else that matters. Over the years and the time I’ve spent here on the forum, we’ve all mourned the passing of our little birdie friends at one point or another. Fortunately, some we bid farewell much later while others left us way too soon - but every one of these angels left this world with his/her own special story that will always be a chapter of our lives. Most believe that one’s natural lifespan is relative to a general state of health – both internal and external. Some believe mortality and our paths in life are predetermined. My belief leans more to the prior but the extent of one’s longevity is never certain. One of my sister-in-law succumbed to a 2 year battle with cancer 3yrs ago at age 50. Prior to the illness, she was a vegan for many years with no vices (didn’t smoke, drink, or even indulged in sweets) and had a seemingly clean bill of health. I also thought of my first cockatiel, Pocket, who I had for 15yrs and for most people I knew were quite impressed. I do however still carry a degree of guilt that if I had just applied back then half of what I know now about bird care, maybe he would have been around much longer. One thing that I know with certainty is that a positive and lively soul can strengthen our hearts to keep ticking much longer than staying idle and living a gloomy life – just like a nice self-winding watch powered by motion…and this is what I’m also trying to improve upon each day for myself and those around me.
Rest in Peace, Mr.Cookie. You are a true miracle and inspiration to us all
HOUSE JEDI OF BUDGITON "Let birds of ALL feathers flock together" Thy Royal Court
Prince Kobe, Lady Gisele, King Chewie, Queen Betty, Princess Silverhawke (RIP 10/31/2015), Lord Artoo Guardians of Budgiham Palace
Viserion, Rocco, Drogon, Rhaegal