African Grey Parrot

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The African Grey Parrot is a medium-sized parrot endemic to primary and secondary rainforest of West and Central Africa. Experts regard it as one of the most intelligent birds. They feed primarily on palm nuts, seeds, fruits, leafy matter, and have even been observed eating snails. Their overall gentle nature and their inclination and ability to mimic speech have made them popular pets. This has led many to be captured from the wild and sold into the pet trade. The African Grey Parrot is listed on CITES appendix II, which restricts trade of wild caught species, because wild populations can not sustain trapping for the pet trade. African Grey parrots are considered to be talented talking parrots. Unlike other parrots, wild African Greys have been documented imitating the calls of several other species. African Grey parrots have been tested using rigorous scientific standards, and are classed alongside the most intelligent animal species. Dr. Irene Pepperberg's extensive research with captive African greys, famously with a bird named Alex, has scientifically demonstrated that they possess the ability to associate human words with meanings, and to intelligently apply the abstract concepts of shape, color, number, zero-sense, etc. According to Pepperberg and others, they perform many cognitive tasks at the level of dolphins, chimpanzees, and even a human toddler There exists a good deal of skepticism regarding the last assertion. Nevertheless, there is little doubt that Greys are very bright. One exceptionally talented African Grey is N'kisi, who in 2004 already was said to have a vocabulary of over 900 words and was noted for creative use of language, as had been Alex. For example, when Jane Goodall visited N'kisi in his New York home, he greeted her with "Got a chimp?" as he'd seen pictures of her with chimpanzees in Africa. His voice sounds so near to a human's that a conversation between him and his owner seems to be a chat between two women. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]







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