Listen to this show here! This show is dedicated to the birds.
You can watch the whole Facebook LIVE video of this show here! Jacko makes his appearance at 21 minutes in (and make sure to watch at the very end for an exciting treat!).
To start this episode, we welcome our guest co-host Chris Anderson back on the show. You may remember him from the episode where we interviewed him about his month-long February vegan challenge, which can be listen to here. The challenge was posed to him by Animal Voices co-host Alison, and this time, she challenged him to watch the new documentary film “The Game Changers” on Netflix. Chris just watched the film this week, and gives us a short review on his thoughts about it.
Jacko the African Grey Parrot and his human companion Adrianne Gauthier
This past August, co-host Alison had the unique pleasure of meeting Adrianne Gauthier and her African Grey Parrot companion named Jacko, while Adrianne was taking him outside to enjoy the fresh air of summer. We enjoyed chatting with Adrianne and Jacko so much that we invited them to come to a future Animal Voices show, and here they are now! Jacko is an extravert and enjoys meeting new people. He was certainly a friendly guy to meet for the first time, and we were struck with awe at his beauty and his pure individuality that makes him a person.
Jacko has likes and dislikes like everyone does. He likes eating pasta, and we learn in this show what his dislikes are! He also seems to perfectly understand English, and speaks it perfectly, too. Adrianne explains that African Grey Parrots (among the most intelligent of all animal species, perhaps) are perfectionists, by nature. Jacko speaks and converses with humans, but chooses his words wisely, speaking only when he knows he will enunciate with precision. His English language skills are quite advanced, too! African Greys are regarded as highly intelligent, having been shown to perform at a cognitive level of a 4-6 year old human child in some tasks.
Adrianne’s and Jacko’s relationship started about 8 years ago, when Adrianne was taking in another of her companion birds to the Night Owl Hospital in Vancouver, and each time she would go, she would see Jacko there, just sitting there. Jacko came in as a rescue, up for adoption. Knowing that African Greys can live up to 60 years, Adrianne made the life-long commitment to give Jacko a forever home, and they’ve been together ever since, bonded together with affection and love. Adrianne tells us about the profound difference that Jacko’s presence in her life has made for her.
Unfortunately, parrots, as in Jacko’s situation, are a product of the pet trade. From their natural habitats in Africa, around 21% were being harvested every year on the international market. Mortality rates are extremely high after they have been captured until they reach market, and as a result of the extensive harvest of wild birds, plus habitat loss, the African Grey Parrots are undergoing a rapid decline in the wild and have been designated as an endangered species.
Tune into this interview to learn more about Jacko’s story. Like all animals, he is a creature of beauty and amazement. Like all animals, he deserves to be treated with respect and compassion for the individual sentient being that he is — just like us.
If you are inspired by this story and have what it takes to adopt an exotic bird, please contact Greyhaven Exotic Bird Sanctuary, now based in Tsawwassen, BC.
Correction notes: We would like to make the following 2 corrections for this interview. a) Dr. McDonald is one of the 6 board members for the Greyhaven Exotic Bird Sanctuary (not the CEO), and b) Greyhaven currently has 55 parrots left for adoption who came from the World Parrot Refuge (not 100-200). We apologize for any confusions this may have caused.