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Beloved cockatoo dies at Utica Zoo

Posted 1/18/23

A beloved Moluccan Cockatoo named “Polly” has died at the Utica Zoo, according to zoo officials.

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Beloved cockatoo dies at Utica Zoo

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UTICA — A beloved Moluccan Cockatoo named “Polly” has died at the Utica Zoo, according to zoo officials.

Polly had been at the Utica Zoo for 53 years before his passing earlier this month. Zoo officials said he was believed to be between 70 to 80-years-old, and was a longtime zoo ambassador in their educational programs.

“After being a member of the Zoo team for such a long period of time, there any many stories and legends passed among the Zoo staff,” said Andria Heath, Utica Zoo Executive Director.

“We hope that members of the community will share their memories of Polly.”

Officials said Polly had been monitored for years for age-related medical concerns, and that his health began to rapidly decline in December. Officials said it was believed that Polly had suffered a stroke, and the decision was eventually made to humanely euthanize him.

“Polly has been a stalwart figure of the Utica Zoo and this was an incredibly difficult decision to make,” Matt Ardaiolo, Utica Zoo Lead Keeper said.

“His quality of life had deteriorated, and he did not appear to have a path to recovery.”

Polly spent his last years at the zoo in retirement from the ambassador program, hanging out in staff offices and chiming in on phone calls and staff meetings.

Donations are being accepted to Polly’s Fund in his memory, with all gifts going to the Utica Zoo Education and ZooMobile Program. Donations can be made at the website tinyurl.com/pollysfund or mailed to One Utica Zoo Way, Utica, NY, 13501.

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