Parrots at English zoo removed from public display after cursing at guests

When the Lincolnshire Wildlife Park in Friskney, England, adopted five African grey parrots in August, it had little clue that the birds might offend some of the park’s visitors. A little time after the parrots’ arrival, the park’s staff noticed that all five birds shared an unfortunate, yet hilarious, trait: They were all really good at swearing.

Using curse words in different British accents, the foul-mouthed parrots – named Billy, Elsie, Eric, Jade, and Tyson – were found to shamelessly swear at whoever passed their aviary, making park employees laugh, which only encouraged the birds to keep going.

“When a parrot swears, it’s very difficult for other humans not to laugh,” said the park’s chief executive Steve Nichols. “And when we laugh, that’s a positive response. And therefore, what they do is they learn both the laugh and the swear word.”

“It’s not so bad with one on its own,” he continued. “But then, if you get five together, once one swears and another one laughs, and another one laughs, before you know it, it sounds like a group of teenagers or an old working men’s club.”

And while the park had no complaints — in fact, visitors reveled in cursing back at the birds — the park decided to move the parrots away from the public eye, fearing that visitors with children might not enjoy the experience as much.

The five parrots have been placed in a different enclosure, giving them time to be around more family-friendly birds. The park hopes that this will help the vulgar birds clean up their vocabularies.

But more than anything, the birds have been a source of laugher and light relief during these times, as the park was forced to shut down for 20 weeks as part of the country’s efforts to stem the pandemic, said Mr. Nichols.

The same was true for Chico, another parrot at the zoo who, earlier this month, made headlines by learning to sing Beyonce’s hit “If I Were A Boy,” also putting a smile on many people’s faces.

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