Alex. He was and is one of the most famous parrots in the United States. He was the core of the research pertaining to the minds of parrots. He managed to increase our understanding of what a bird can actually understand. He along with Dr. Irene Pepperberg, revolutionized the ideas of how the avian mind works!
On September 6, 2007, Alex died at the age of 31. He was found dead in the morning after having appeared to be healthy the day before. At his last veterinary visit, which was only two weeks before hand, he was deemed healthy.
He died of unknown causes leaving behind many devastated people who knew and loved him personally. Millions of people across the country have been left speechless by this event even though they’d never actually met him. His work in the research field was followed closely by many. People felt so close to him that they felt he was one of their own.
The research that Alex took part in changed the way we look at birds today. Because of him and Dr. Pepperberg, we can better understand how intelligent parrots are and therefore provide better care for them, enriching their lives to the fullest. Results have aided in veterinary research to increase the level of care the birds receive for phycological illnesses.
Conservation efforts of parrots in the wild can be increased by Alex’s results in research. Scientists are able to understand how changes affect wild birds and how to build efforts to better suit their needs and preferences. Proper breeding facilities, habitats and enrichment items can be used that are more accepted by these intelligent creatures.
Alex was bright enough to identify over fifty objects when presented to him. He could recognize seven colors, five shapes and even count to six and identify numbers up to six. He could put together sentences that correctly respond to others. He was able to categorize over a hundred different items. Alex could respond to statement with his own reflecting his personal mood.
Alex was the seed for The Alex Foundation. This foundation has incorporated other African Greys over the years as well. Alex left behind Griffin, Wart and Arthur to carry on his revolutionary research.
He is deeply missed by those who came in contact with him every day as well as those who simply followed his progress and admired him from afar. His results in research will be forever remembered and used and his name will never be forgotten. Alex truly was, and remains to be the animal ambassador of the world.