This is so sweet.
Cockatoos are very much capable of feeling emotions.
Tofu, a white cockatoo, was not ashamed to show how he feels when he met his handler again after being apart for several months.
Tofu is a “staff member” of Feathered Follies, an avian-centered pet needs store. But as the pandemic ravaged the country, the store had to make tough choices.
One of which is sending Tofu to a foster home.
The move was necessary to make sure that Tofu still gets the best care even because he can no longer stay in the store.
“After the destruction, COVID caused we had to send birds to Foster Homes and pray they were loved and cared for,” Mercedes Kemp said in the caption of a video they shared on YouTube. “Tofu was on that list, and at the time we were not even sure if we could take him back, let alone when that would be.
Tofu became part of the team when he was relinquished to the store.
As Kemp said in the description of the video, many people have misconceptions when it comes to raising cockatoos.
Throughout history, cockatoos together with birds of their species like macaws, parrots, parakeets, and cockatiels are highly favored for their intelligence, charisma, and musicality.
Being a “favorite” also meant they are one of the most relinquished birds.
The mimicry and movements may seem cute at first, but cockatoos need a lot of patience and care. Caring for these birds can be demanding because of their behavior and loud vocalization.
People can get these birds through impulse, then return them when they realize how much work is needed to raise one.
To raise awareness, Tofu became a “spokesbird” for responsible pet raising.
“He was an amazing ambassador and educator, showing everyone who walked in the door how incredible, fun, and smart birds are,” Kemp added in the video’s caption, “but he also opened people up to difficult conversation.”
She shared that people would often say “I want him.” But in the end, they will also end up abandoning, locking, or relinquishing the bird.
Tofu has since become a “store staff” because they refuse to sell or pass him from home to home.
And as a member of the team, his Feathered Follies family missed him dearly. And we’re sure that he missed them too.
As Kemp opened his crate, the cockatoo excitedly hopped out and clutched on her finger. His feathered crest perked up and he started bouncing on his handler’s hand.
While we don’t “speak bird,” we know that Tofu was elated.
He opens his wings and flaps about now and then, but all the while, he kept that big smile on his beak. Fortunately for Tofu, he’s coming home really soon.
As Kemp explained, the foster where they left Tofu brought him in so she could groom and see him. The store is steadily recovering, which meant they’ll be able to keep Tofu again.
And now that Kemp owns the store, she now officially owns Tofu. We hope, that as they continue to rebuild their business post-pandemic, Tofu will be able to spend more years with Kemp.
Watch how this cockatoo bounced for joy when he was reunited with his best friend.
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