The African Grey parrots spent time together during isolation after they were donated and taught each other profanities.
Parrots are great indoor birds and can be quite entertaining too. They know how to learn words and say it back to you easily. Some parrots also become adept at ordering things off of the internet. When their owner isn't around, they end up sending their long list to Amazon Echo or other such devices. There are parrots who swear too much and get kicked out of the shelter. Sometimes, they end up corrupting their brethren as well.
Parrots in a zoo in the UK were punished for swearing at customers. They had learned to use profanities and while it was funny, they had to be removed from public display because of younger customers. The newly adopted group of foul-mouthed parrots were removed from public display at the Lincolnshire Wildlife Park when they started swearing at visitors, according to Metro UK.
The five parrots, named Eric, Jade, Elsie, Tyson, and Billy, "just went ballistic, they were all swearing," the venue's chief executive Steve Nichols told CNN Travel. "We were a little concerned about the children," he added.
"They've been causing quite a shock!"— SkyNews (@SkyNews) September 30, 2020
Steve Nichols, CEO of Lincolnshire Wildlife Park, tells @KayBurley why five foul-mouthed parrots have had to be separated after encouraging each other to swear.#KayBurley: https://t.co/9wCOOGPuZ5 pic.twitter.com/r1uJwac5k6
The creatures spent time together in isolation and managed to teach other swear words. They sounded like an "old working men’s club", Nichols told Metro UK. The park’s chief executive said staff laughed at the parrots when they heard them, which encouraged the five African grey parrots to swear more.
"I get called a fat t**t every time I walk past," Nichols told CNN. "They literally, within a very short period of time, started swearing at each other," Nichols said. "'F**k off' is the most common one," he said, adding, "It's a very easy one for them to learn". However, the birds would utter "anything you can think of."
Customers apparently were not offended by the parrots' colorful display of verbal talent. "The visitors were giving them as much back as what they were giving to them," Nichols said.
Parrots at Lincolnshire Wildlife Park moved because they swear too much at visitors— Jay Owens (@hautepop) September 29, 2020
"I get called a fat twat every time I walk past," chief executive Steve Nichols complained. https://t.co/eXEmdd5SHB
However, the staff has split the parrots and kept them separate. They are in "time out" to think about their behavior. "For the last 25 years, we have always taken in parrots that have sometimes had a bit of blue language and we have really got used to that," he said. "Every now and then you’ll get one that swears and it’s always funny. We always find it very comical when they do swear at you. But, just by coincidence, we took in five in the same week and because they were all quarantined together it meant that one room was just full of swearing birds. The more they swear the more you usually laugh, which then triggers them to swear again," he explained to Metro UK.
"But when you get four or five together that have learned the swearing and naturally learned the laughing, when one swears, one laughs, and before you know it just got to be like an old working men’s club," said the amused chief.
African grey parrots are talented in learning vocalizations from noises, which is why they flew off the handle within just 20 minutes of being kept on display for the public.
"We found it highly amusing and the customers were fine – there was no problem at all," said Nichols adding that they will be kept separately on display as well so even if they do swear, it's not as bad as them "blasting it out at once".
African grey parrots are considered to be smart creatures who have so much empathy that they know to help another bird in need. Apart from humans, only bonobos and orangutans have passed this test, Désirée Brucks at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich in Germany told New Scientist. They trained the parrots and then tested them to see if they can follow instructions.