Brookfield's Cookie the Cockatoo Turns 79 Saturday

The bird will make a public appearance for his birthday, starting at 10:30 a.m.

By Lindsay Smith
|  Friday, Jun 29, 2012  |  Updated 10:32 PM CDT
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Second City Animal Stories

Cookie the Cockatoo relaxes the day before his big birthday celebration.

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Brookfield Zoo's last remaining animal from the original animal collection will be celebrating his 79th birthday Saturday.

The Major's Mitchell cockatoo named Cookie, will be celebrating his 79th birthday with an annual public appearance at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the zoo's Reptiles and Birds exhibit, zoo officials say.

Admirers will be able to sing "Happy Birthday" to the bird, who will then be given a muffin-sized birthday cake.

Cookie has acquired many admirers since joining the Brookfield Zoo from a zoo in Australia as a one-year-old. His fans, or "Cookie's groupies," come specifically to see him much of the time, and even send him fan mail and toys.

The beautiful pink bird's 79 years of age far surpass the average life span for a Major Mitchell's cockatoo, which is generally between 40 and 60 years. Zoo officials believe that he is the oldest living Major Mitchell's cockatoo in professional care.

Cookie, one of only 124 of his species in professional care worldwide, only makes one public appearance a year. He spends the rest of his time relaxing with his keepers.

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