- Alex, the famous and smart parrot, died at the age of 31 and uttered his touching last words
- The African grey parrot was remarkable for his ability to identify shapes, colors, and numbers in addition to his large vocabulary
- Professor Pepperberg gave credits to Alex’s training and interactions with humans for the smart fowl’s cognitive skills
People have always kept a very close and personal relationship with their pets. An individual who owns a dog would admit sooner or later that they allow the furry animal to spend the night with them and even try to talk to it as if it was their own baby. As for those who take care of a cat, they must have lost count of how many times their moody feline attempted to scratch them, but still attempt to hug them afterwards every time. It is safe to say that these adorable creatures have all carved themselves a place in our hearts.
On the other hand, the story of an African grey parrot called Alex was not as conventional as the others because aside from being a pet, he was Harvard’s research subject for scientists.
The parrot has been under the care of Professor Irene Pepperberg before he passed away. Dubbed as possibly the ‘smartest parrot ever,’ Alex’s title could be credited to his experience with human interaction and loads of training in the university.
Apart from knowing more than a hundred words, he could also easily identify colors and shapes. However, it was how the parrot has grasped the concept of ‘none' that made him stood out and unique from the rest.
According to Pepperberg, despite the bird’s cognitive abilities, he could still not be considered as a genius. It was a known fact that grey parrots are great talkers since they sound similar to people. His advantage, compared to the others, resulted from all the training he had undergone.
The feathered friend served as a breakthrough and a big help to his fellow endangered birds.
His intellectual prowess just proved how birds are more intelligent than humans acknowledge them for. This particular fact could help convince the general public to conserve them.
Sadly, at the age of 31, the most popular parrot died. Among all his remarkable progress, the most touching one would have to be his dying words which proved that other than an experiment, he was also a pet who had feelings.
“You be good, see you tomorrow. I love you.”
We have no way of making sure Alex meant those words. But during those times, when our pets would wait for us at the end of the day with their comforting eyes and gestures, then you would give second thoughts if these animals, biologically different from us, can love us as much as we love them.
Mice, rats, cats, dogs, rabbits, and more animals are being used daily for science experiments. While this is a common practice, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is still condemning the use of any animal for eating, clothes, experiment, and entertainment.