Feb 22, 2011

A Flock of Two

In today's short, we get to know a man who struggles, and mostly fails, to contain his violent outbursts...until he meets a bird who can keep him in check.

Animals rescue people all the time, but not like this. Jim Eggers is a 44-year-old man who suffers from a problem that not only puts his life at risk--it jeopardizes the safety of everybody around him. But with the help of Sadie, his pet African Grey Parrot, Jim found an unlikely (and seemingly successful) way to manage his anger. African Grey Parrot expert Irene Pepperberg helps us understand how this could work, and shares some insights from her work with a parrot named Alex.

And one quick note from our producer Pat Walters: Jim considers Sadie to be a “service animal,” a designation under the Americans with Disabilities Act that protects the rights of individuals with disabilities to bring certain animals into public places. The federal government recently redefined the term service animal to include only dogs and miniature horses. And while Jim disagrees with the change, he says he hasn’t run into any problems yet—in fact, the local bus company has already told him they’ll make an exception for Sadie. 

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