Cookie the Cockatoo has been working non-stop since 1934, so excuse him for being cranky.
The 76-year-old Major Mitchell’s cockatoo is the oldest resident at the Brookfield Zoo, part of the original collection of animals.
Now, after decades of service, Cookie is retiring from public view.
Zookeepers made the decision to take Cookie off exhibition because he was constantly agitated – like a curmudgeonly old man who wants those darned kids off his lawn.
Earlier this year, staff in the zoo’s Bird Department noticed that when Cookie was off exhibit, his appetite improved and he appeared more at ease, so they weaned him off his schedule.
He’ll spend all his time in keeper’s office, surrounded by people he knows and likes.
Cookie is well beyond the average life span for his species. He arrived at Brookfield Zoo at the age of 1 from Taronga Zoo in Australia. It is believed that he is the world’s oldest living Major Mitchell’s cockatoo in a zoo setting.
The next oldest bird of this species in a facility is a 31-year-old female at Paradise Wildlife Sanctuary in England. Currently, there are 157 Major Mitchell’s cockatoos in zoos or other facilities worldwide.