Pippi Longstocking parrot dies after reaching ‘biblical age’

A parrot made famous from one of the Pippi Longstocking movies has died in a German zoo.

Pippi Longstocking parrot dies after reaching 'biblical age'
Douglas, made famous from the Pippi Longstocking movies. Photo: Erika Oldberg/TT

Douglas was an Ara macaw who staked his claim to fame in 1970 when he starred in Pippi Longstocking on the Seven Seas, based on the novels by Swedish children's author Astrid Lindgren.

Readers of The Local may remember that he again grabbed headlines three years ago after the Swedish Board of Agriculture ruled that his cage at Malmö's reptile centre in southern Sweden was too small.

The board said the cage should be at least 30 square metres and the reptile centre, who did not have a cage that size, called for help to save him from having to be put down as a last resort.

Karlsruhe Zoo in Germany was eventually able to offer the retired actor a new home in which to live out his autumn years, and in May 2016 he was welcomed as nothing short of a star in Germany.

“The zoo director was as excited as a child on Christmas Eve. Both the lord mayor and the mayor were there and an international children's choir sang songs in Swedish,” the Malmö reptile centre's Frank Madsen, who delivered Douglas to his new home, told newspaper Sydsvenskan at the time.

But after a brief illness the parrot died at the age of 51 on Saturday, Karlsruhe Zoo said.

“Even though he had reached an almost biblical age for an Ara, it really touched me terribly when he died,” zoo director Matthias Reinschmidt told German newspaper Badische Neueste Nachrichten.

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