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Lola the Cockatoo Starts a Race

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Volunteering | Birds

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hugh

Possibly the best known animal at the Aquarium of the Pacific is not a shark or a sea lion. He doesn’t even know how to swim! He is Lola the Cockatoo.

Amongst the critters at the Aquarium Lola is a media darling. Not only does he attend numerous public events as the Aquarium’s Animal Ambassador, he also frequently interacts with the media to give them a up close and personal photo op. He is the only animal that will tell you the question and answer to what you are thinking when you meet him. Lola will stand before you and say, “What kind of bird are you? Sulfur Crested Cockatoo!” Lola, by the way, is a male. Before he came to the Aquarium his previous owners named him Lola before they discovered what sex he was.

Recently the Aquarium of the Pacific sponsored a Kids Fun Run as part of the festivities leading up to the Long Beach Marathon. The race announcement highlighted that there would be a celebrity starting the race. Who was the celebrity starter? Why Lola of course! As the kids lined up at the starting line all eyes were on the white bird with the sulfur colored crest sitting on the hand of Aquarium of the Pacific mammalogist Kristen. With a lift of his wings he signaled the start of the race. As a blur of kids ran by, Lola had a look in his eyes that seemed to say “Did I do that?” Yes you did Lola.

Lola the Cockatoo Starts a Race
Lola gets a final prep before meeting the public and the media during the Kids Fun Run Festivities in front of the Aquarium of the Pacific.  | Hugh Ryono
Lola the Cockatoo Starts a Race
With a lift of his wings Lola starts the Kids Fun Run.  | Hugh Ryono
Lola the Cockatoo Starts a Race
Lola watches the kids run by.  | Hugh Ryono

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