Cookie (cockatoo)

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Lophocroa leadbeateri -Brookfield Zoo-6.jpg
Cookie in 2008
Species Major Mitchell's cockatoo (Lophochroa leadbeateri)
Sex Male
Hatched (1933-06-30)June 30, 1933
Died August 27, 2016(2016-08-27) (aged 83)
Brookfield Zoo, Illinois, U.S.
Known for Oldest cockatoo in captivity, oldest living parrot
Owner Brookfield Zoo

Cookie (June 30, 1933 – August 27, 2016) was a male Major Mitchell's cockatoo residing at Brookfield Zoo, near Chicago, Illinois, United States. He was believed to be the oldest member of his species alive in captivity, at the age of 82 in June 2015,[1][2] having significantly exceeded the average lifespan for his kind.[3] He was one of the longest-lived birds on record[4] and was recognised by the Guinness World Records as the oldest living parrot in the world.[5]

The next-oldest Major Mitchell's cockatoo to be found in a zoological setting was 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 is on average 40–60 years.[6]


Cookie was Brookfield Zoo's oldest resident and the last 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.[7]

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,[7] 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.[8]

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, demeanor and stress levels improved markedly when not on public display. He was moved to a permanent residence in the keepers' office of the zoo's Perching Bird House, although he made occasional appearances for special events, such as his birthday celebration, which is held each June.[3] In 2013, he was still considered to be in good health for his age.[9]

Cookie died on August 27, 2016, at 83 years of age.[10] A memorial at the zoo was unveiled in September 2017.[11]


  1. ^ "Happy 82nd Birthday, Cookie!". Brookfield Zoo. Retrieved July 3, 2015.
  2. ^ "Cookie the Cockatoo turns 79". WGN News. Retrieved 7 July 2012. [permanent dead link]
  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. ^ "Oldest parrot - living". Guinness World Records. Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  6. ^ "Major Mitchell's Cockatoo (Cacatua leadbeateri)". World Parrot Trust. Retrieved 23 December 2009.
  7. ^ a b Stach, Chris (1 October 2009). "Zoo's oldest resident retires at 76". Riverside/Brookfield Landmark. Retrieved 19 December 2009.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ "Meet our oldest animals in Chicago". Chicago Tribune. 7 November 2013.
  10. ^ "Cookie the Cockatoo at Brookfield Zoo dies". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  11. ^ Ruppenthal, Alex (21 September 2017). "Brookfield Zoo to Unveil Statue of Beloved Cookie the Cockatoo". WTTW Chicago. Retrieved 4 July 2018.

External links

  • Cookie "Retires" at Brookfield Zoo — Chicago Zoological Society on YouTube
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