African grey parrots are talkative birds with impressive vocabularies. They can learn up to 1,000 words and phrases, but that includes expletives.
Five African grey parrots – named Billy, Elsie, Eric, Jade and Tyson – have been temporarily removed from public display at Lincolnshire Wildlife Park in the UK for swearing at visitors.
The park is home to over 1,500 parrots, but the newest arrivals are ruffling some feathers with their foul mouths.
The cheeky parrots arrived individually at the park in August and were quarantined together in the same room.
“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,” park’s chief executive officer Steve Nichols told Lincolnshire Live. “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.”
After quarantine, all five parrots were moved into the park’s main outdoor aviaries but staff never expected them to immediately start swearing and entertaining the guests.
“Literally within 20 minutes of being in the introductory we were told that they had sworn at a customer and for the next group of people, all sorts of obscenities came out,” Nichols said.
Apparently, their favorite phrase to use to greet guests was, “F**k off”.
People that were on the receiving end of the ridicule found it funny and had a good laugh, which only encouraged the parrots to continue.
“The more they swear the more you usually laugh which then triggers them to swear again.
“But when you get four or five together that have learnt the swearing and naturally learnt the laughing so when one swears, one laughs and before you know it just got to be like an old working men’s’ club scenario where they are all just swearing and laughing.”
While their ‘bad’ behavior made people smile and the day of countless guests, the park decided to temporarily move the parrots out of earshot until they learned more appropriate words and phrases.
The birds are currently in different colonies and socializing with other parrots who will hopefully teach them more kid-friendly words. “I’m hoping they learn different words within colonies – but if they teach the others bad language and I end up with 250 swearing birds, I don’t know what we’ll do,” stated Nichols.
However, fans of the park suggest keeping the birds together in their own sanctuary and allowing only adults to visit. Many have said they would pay to see and interact with the hilarious birds, would you?
The park is also home to another famous parrot, Chico, who went viral for his version of Beyonce’s ‘If I Were a Boy’.
Be sure to share this with anyone who could use a good laugh.
Andrea Powell is an animal enthusiast that resides in West Michigan. When not writing, she is exploring the great outdoors with her dogs and horses.