Cookie (cockatoo)

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Lophocroa leadbeateri -Brookfield Zoo-6.jpg
Cookie in 2008
Species Major Mitchell's Cockatoo (Lophochroa leadbeateri)
Sex Male
Born 30 June 1933 (age 81 years, 177 days)
Nation from United States
Known for Oldest Major Mitchell's Cockatoo in captivity
Owner Brookfield Zoo

Cookie (hatched June 30, 1933 in Australia) is a male Major Mitchell's Cockatoo residing at Brookfield Zoo, near Chicago, Illinois, USA. He is believed to be the oldest member of his species alive in captivity, at the age of 80 in June 2013,[1][2] having significantly exceeded the average lifespan for his kind[3] and is one of the longest-lived birds on record.[4] The next-oldest Major Mitchell's Cockatoo to be found in a zoological setting is a 31-year-old female bird located at Paradise Wildlife Sanctuary, England.[3] Information published by the World Parrot Trust states longevity for Cookie's species in captivity at 40–60 years.[5]

Cookie is Brookfield Zoo's oldest resident and the only surviving member of the animal collection from the time of the zoo's opening in 1934, having arrived from Taronga Zoo of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, in the same year and judged to be one year old at the time.[6]

In 2007, Cookie was diagnosed with and placed on medication and nutritional supplements for osteoarthritis and osteoporosis – medical conditions which occur commonly in aging animals and humans alike,[6] although it is believed that the latter may also have been brought on as a result of being fed a seed-only diet for the first 40 years of his life, in the years before the dietary requirements of his species were fully understood.[7]

Cookie was 'retired' from exhibition at the zoo in 2009 (following a few months of weekend-only appearances) in order to preserve his health, after it was noticed by staff that his appetite, demeanour and stress levels improved markedly when not on public display. He now lives permanently in the keepers' office of the zoo's Perching Bird House, although it has been stated that he may still make occasional appearances for special events such as his birthday celebration, which is held each June.[3] As of 2013, he is still considered to be in good health for his age.[8]

In July 2013 Cookie was visited by Indian spiritual leader Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji.[9]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Cookie the Cockatoo turns 79". WGN News. Retrieved 7 July 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c "Cookie Cockatoo "Retires"". Chicago Zoological Society. Archived from the original on 2009-10-09. Retrieved 19 December 2009. 
  4. ^ "Longevity, ageing, and life history of Cacatua leadbeateri". The Animal Ageing and Longevity Database. Retrieved 10 March 2011. 
  5. ^ "Major Mitchell's Cockatoo (Cacatua leadbeateri)". World Parrot Trust. Retrieved 23 December 2009. 
  6. ^ a b Stach, Chris (1 October 2009). "Zoo's oldest resident retires at 76". Riverside/Brookfield Landmark. Retrieved 19 December 2009. 
  7. ^ Tanner, Lindsey (17 March 2008). "Zoo Beasts Must Battle the Bulge, Too". FOX News. Archived from the original on 2008-03-22. Retrieved 19 December 2009. 
  8. ^ "Meet our oldest animals in Chicago". Chicago Tribune. 7 November 2013. 
  9. ^

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