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Pet re-enacts painful arguments of previous owners (VIDEO)

The last time you and your partner, or kid or sister had a fight I bet you weren’t concerned about the innocent pet in the room watching it all go down. Little did you know that your argument might have left an indelible mark on your furry or feathered friend. If you don’t believe me check out this online video of a cockatoo, adopted by a North Carolina woman. The bird appears to be re-enacting vicious fights it must have heard over and over again from prior owners. Listen for yourself, it’s pretty disturbing.

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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