Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

The pathology tests are finally back regarding the sudden death of Alex the Congo African Grey parrot.

Alex died quickly. He had a sudden, unexpected catastrophic event associated with arterosclerosis (“hardening of the arteries”). It was either a fatal arrhythmia, heart attack or stroke, which caused him to die suddenly with appparently no suffering. There was no way to predict his demise. All of his tests, including his cholesterol level and aspergillosis levels, came back normal earlier that week. His death could not be connected to his current diet or his age; the veterinarian said that she has seen similar events in young (younger than 10 years old) birds on healthy diets. Most likely, genetics or the same kind of low-level (impossible to detect in birds as yet) inflammatory disease that is related to heart disease in humans was responsible.

Taken from information posted by Jamie, the Alex Foundation Webmaster.


  1. #1 andy
    October 5, 2007

    Isn’t it atherosclerosis?

  2. #2 Diane in Ohio
    October 7, 2007

    Ahhhhhhh! :o( I’m so sorry to hear about this as I have learned so much from this bird and the studies which have resulted. Alot of time was put forth and dedicated care in working with Alex and the others which resulted in quite alot of knowlegeable facts (or near guesstaments)in regard to birdie smarts. How sad to hear of his demise….”THANK-YOU!” for posting Hedwig!!!

  3. #3 Monado
    October 8, 2007

    Thanks for posting this follow-up. I was saddened to hear that Alex had died and disappointed that a cause was not found in the initial necropsy.

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