A group of African grey parrots have caused a ruckus at Lincolnshire Wildlife Park in England as it was discovered the five birds shared a passion for foul language. They had been newly adopted by the park and placed in quarantine in the same room in August, but it quickly became apparent that they had more in common than simply their species.
The park is home to 1,500 parrots and protects its existing captive animals by placing new arrivals in their own enclosure to look for signs of ill health that could be passed on to the other birds. Soon after their union, the swear words started popping off and the park’s staff couldn’t help but laugh which, as it turned out, was a bad idea. Encouraged by the laughter the birds began swearing more, with some birds picking up the swear-word-laughter response. Soon, parrots were effing and blinding while the others laughed on, transforming the quarantine into what chief executive officer Steve Nichols described as “an old working men’s club”.
“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,” said Nichols in an interview with Lincolnshire Live. “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.”
Chico the parrot has also drawn attention at the park after breaking into an incredible rendition of Beyonce's "If I were a boy"
The riotous birds were soon moved to a display, but within 20 minutes visitors were being sworn at. While the swearing was received well by visitors who, like most of us, welcomed a laugh under the current climate, staff were concerned as they suspect the weekend would bring swathes of young, impressionable visitors to the exhibit.
The parrots were moved to an enclosure far from the ears of youthful innocence, with the intention they might pick up fewer swears from each other and more “parrot-like” noises from the other birds. African grey parrots are intelligent animals, well known for their impressionable nature and their ability to pick up a variety of vocalizations from all sorts of sources, be it a swearing owner or a barking dog. The park intends to reintroduce the birds to the public but separated from one another to avoid customers feeling the wrath of five blasphemous parrots all at once.
It’s been a tough year for the charity who like many other wildlife institutions have experienced enormous losses during the coronavirus pandemic. A viral video earlier this year of fellow resident parrot Chico singing Beyonce’s ‘If I were a boy’ has encouraged visitors to the park, who Nichols reports have been further entertained by the new gang’s R-rated chat.
“They have actually come to see Chico and now they have heard about the swearing parrots it is quite an unusual place where you are walking around and people are swearing at aviaries trying to get a parrot to swear back at them,” said Nichols. “It’s turned into an adult theme park at the moment but only for language.”