Spread your wings - fly free!
Alex, the African Grey passing away on Friday, 9/7/2007. I have been very sad since I've learned about Alex. It was because of Alex that my humans decided to adopt an African Grey Parrrot. They watched a show on TV about Alex and they fell in love! (Lucky for ME!)
Alex was a true pioneer and paved the way for the understanding of parrot intelligence, and I believe he is largely responsible for the better and more humane treatment that many parrots receive today because of that understanding. We still have a long way to go before all parrots receive the treatment they deserve, but Alex can rest knowing that he made a massive contribution to parrotkind.
The death of Alex is not only a great loss to the parrot community and the field of Avian research, but also for humans too! Dr. Pepperberg's research, which uses a training method called the model-rival technique, also holds promise for teaching autistic and other learning-disabled children who have difficulty learning language, numerical concepts and even empathy. So far, results using this learning technique with small groups of autistic children have been very promising.
Here is an excellent video produced by PBS about Alex.
Visit the The Alex Foundation for more information about the work being done.
So this is where we part, My Friend,
And you'll fly on around the bend,
Gone from sight but not from mind,
New pleasures there you'll surely find.
I will go on, I'll find the strength,
Life measures quality, not its length.
One long scritch before you leave,
Share one last look, before I grieve.
There are others, that much is true,
But they be they and they aren't you.
And I, fair, impartial, or so I thought
Will remember well all you've taught.
Your place I'll hold, you will be missed,
The feathers I stroked, the beak I kissed.
And as you go to your final rest,
Take with you this -- I loved you best.