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World’s oldest cockatoo dies at 83

A pink cockatoo, thought to be the oldest bird of its kind in captivity, has died at Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo at the age of 83.

The Major Mitchell’s cockatoo, a white and pink bird with a red and yellow crest, also had been the last surviving animal from the Brookfield Zoo’s original collection. It arrived as a 1-year-old from Australia’s Taronga Zoo in 1934.

Cookie was lovable but moody, curator Tim Snyder ad told the Chicago Sun-Times. “If he didn’t like you, he let you know it… He was like a cranky old geezer.”

The life expectancy for Major Mitchell’s cockatoos is 40 to 100 years, according to, but the zoo said Cookie lived well beyond what is expected for his species.

A tribute on Brookfield’s Facebook page said he will be ‘sorely missed by staff and visitors alike.’



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