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Apollo, St. Petersburg’s TikTok famous parrot, speaks for himself

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Published in Science & Technology News

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Apollo is only 2, but he’s growing up fast.

He knows the names of colors and how to ask questions to satisfying his growing curiosity. His parents nourish him with fresh chicken eggs, organic vegetables and the occasional bug. He loves looking out the window and crushing pistachios into his sharp, clawed feet.

“We always kiss after I give him a snack,” said his mother, Tori Lacey.

“He’s my son, my child,” she continued. “But also a project.”

Lacey, 24, and her fiance, Dalton Mason, 23, have been raising Apollo to be most intelligent bird possible. The African grey parrot can answer questions on command and clearly communicate what he’s thinking.

Oh, and he’s TikTok famous. His account, @apolloandfrens, has over 620,000 followers and counting.

 

Apollo’s parents fell in love five years ago. Both are Pinellas County natives with a soft spot for animals.

Before Apollo, they owned a pair of caiques, which died in an accident. The couple mourned for nearly a year before Mason saw Apollo at Animal House Pet Center in December 2020. The parrot had his wings clipped. He was just eight months old and on sale for $1,700.

Apollo was awfully cute, with smoky feathers covering his body and round white eyes. Mason knew African grey parrots are also smart.

“I’ve just been obsessed with animals and nature since I was a kid. Crows and ravens and animal intelligence broadly really fascinated me,” Mason said. “She wanted a parrot, and that’s how we got started.”

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