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Suddenly, without warning, JJ exclaimed (10/5/2007 12:13 AM):
No kidding about the feathers! I almost got sick to ... back, go back" and she just said no. Man. cindi

Well, in other videos, Alex looked wonderful. I had a cockatiel, JB, for 18 years. There were times during a ... don't think that one video with the poor feathers is an indication that he was mistreated. Just another opinion. JJ

If you poke around on YouTube, you can find other videos where he's well-plucked. I seem to remember reading that he'd developed this problem, but I can't remember where.
I'm not sure "mistreated" is the right word, though. "Overworked" might be more accurate. I'm sure he was treated well, but for whatever reason it appears his overall wellbeing was overlooked - for money, fame? Who knows...
jmc
Suddenly, without warning, JJ exclaimed (10/5/2007 12:13 AM):

Well, in other videos, Alex looked wonderful. I had a ... an indication that he was mistreated. Just another opinion. JJ

If you poke around on YouTube, you can find other videos where he's well-plucked. I seem to remember reading that ... was treated well, but for whatever reason it appears his overall wellbeing was overlooked - for money, fame? Who knows...

Isn't it the case that he only plucked when Dr. Pepperberg had to leave him to go on extensive travel, and that when he was working with her, he didn't pluck? So maybe the problem was that he was not being "worked hard enough"?

As to, "Who knows..." (how Alex was cared for), a lot of people do, and the information is readily available. Alex was much more well cared for than most pets.
Alex was much more well cared for than most pets.

With respect to physical health, diet, etc., perhaps yes.

With respect to mental health most likely NO!
Pet parrots do not go through an ardous 8-12 hour
day of mental gymnastics. That's why the average
lifespan of pet parrot african grey is 50-60 years.

Once Griffin and Wart, the other two parrots
Dr.Pepperberg is working with, expire we will
know more about the average lifespan of a
research parrot.
M.J.
Alex was much more well cared for than most pets.

With respect to physical health, diet, etc., perhaps yes. With respect to mental health most likely NO! Pet parrots do ... other two parrots Dr.Pepperberg is working with, expire we will know more about the average lifespan of a research parrot.

With respect to Alexes mental health, additional suspisions exists. One of Dr.Pepperberg's research parrots has in the past "gone crazy" so to speak, i.e. developed signs of mental illness, and had to be retired from further study.

The October 2005 issue of Alex Foundation Newsletter mentions that another research parrot, an African Grey named Kyaaro, has developed an avian form of
Attention-Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder.
I doubt anyone veterinarian could make such a precise diagnosis in a mammalian subject, not to mention an avian patient, but the important fact here is that mental problems have occured in Dr.Pepperberg's parrots in the past.

Below is a quote, and link to the Newsletter mentioning the troubled bird:
Four parrots participated in Dr. Pepperberg's work. The birds-Kyaaro, Wart, Alex and Griffin had varying backgrounds of training, backgrounds that would have telling results on the outcome of the study. The string-pulling abilities of the birds were tested during different time periods with Kyaaro and Alex being tested first in 1995. (Kyaaro, who developed an avian form of Attention-Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder, has been retired and is now living happily with Maggie Wright of the Grey Play Round Table and her two female Greys.) Alex would be tested again when Griffin and Wart had their first exposure to string-pulling in 2003.
http://thealexfoundation.blogspot.com/2005/08/whats-happening-in-research-great.html

M.J.