The science around the emotional lives of nonhumans is still vastly under-studied, but dogs who have returned from war, captive chimpanzees and elephants have shown patterns that look like PTSD and depression, and there seems to be some agreement that animals grieve. Parrots, like elephants and chimpanzees, are recognized to be highly intelligent creatures — up to the intelligence of a 4-year-old child. This bird seems to have been owned by a couple whose relationship was highly volatile, and although it seems to have been a wise choice to let another couple take ownership of the bird, he is probably still grieving the loss of his family.
If a child were mimicking his parents' divorce, we would recognize it as trauma. We should recognize this bird's reaction as trauma too.
Have your animals ever displayed signs of PTSD or depression? What helped to calm them?
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