Humans aren’t the only ones affected by grief. Animals experience it, too, particularly with the loss of an owner. When King O’s owner died, the beautiful cockatoo parrot got into the habit of pulling out his feathers. He went through several homes, but after years of difficulties, things are looking up for this lovable, energetic bird. According to The Dodo, feather pulling is not uncommon for birds in captivity when they experience stress.
King O started doing it when he lost his original owner and had to go live with her nephew. From there, he bounced around to multiple homes, but he just didn’t seem happy anywhere. When he started showing more behavioral issues, his owners looked for help, which led to King O going to the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary Parrot Garden.
Care2 reports that the Parrot Garden focuses on creating an environment that fulfills each bird’s needs. The staff there quickly discovered what King O needed. The bird was a big-time extrovert who loved to be the life of the party. He was at his happiest when he could meet new people.
The staff at Parrot Garden were happy to oblige their new friend, holding song and dance parties with King O as the main attraction. They took plenty of videos of King O’s performances, which even got the bird some attention online.
Jacqueline Johnson, head of Parrot Garden’s bird department, told Huffington Post that cockatoos are the parrot that gets rehomed most frequently, as they go through seven to 11 homes on average over their 40- to 60-year lifespan. Rescues often can’t accept cockatoos because they already have so many. Johnson would like to see people cut down on parrot breeding to help correct the issue.
Fortunately, King O did find a permanent home after six years at Parrot Gardens. A woman who runs an education program and a private reserve adopted him, meaning he’s going to keep meeting plenty of new people. It turns out all King O needed was the chance to be social. Cockatoos have very distinct personalities. Here’s another story about a cockatoo who came back from tough experiences to bond with a new owner.
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