A wildlife sanctuary in England was forced to separate five potty-mouthed African Grey parrots, keeping them away from visitors, who became the target of their expletive-filled conversations.
But what sets this clique of birds apart from the others, is their naughty language… And you’ll be shocked after learning what rude phrases they’ve been learning!
African Grey parrots are considered to be one of the most intelligent birds, with a cognitive level of a four to six-year-old human child.
What most human children wouldn’t do, is express themselves in the same way as Billy, Eric, Tyson, Jade and Elsie do.
The group of five gorgeous birds were adopted by the Lincolnshire Wildlife Centre, that rescues tigers, otters, lemurs, birds and more.
In August 2020, when the birds arrived at the center, they were quarantined together before they could be released into the colony of 200 chatty African Gray parrots.
Keepers were shocked with what the shameless birds were saying.
“We are quite used to parrots swearing, but we’ve never had five at the same time,” the center’s chief executive, Steve Nichols, told Associated Press. “Most parrots clam up outside, but for some reason these five relish it.”
Billy, Eric, Tyson, Jade and Elsie were all pets from five separate homes across the U.K., and when they came together, they proved to be bad influences.
Explaining why parrots pick up bad language, Nichols said: “99 per cent of people when they have a parrot try to get it to say or do something unusual and swear words are by far the most common.” He continued: “When you swear you say it in a certain context which is similar every time and it gives the parrots a way of tuning in and repeating it.”
The behavior is encouraged by a natural human response, which is usually laughter.
“When they do repeat it, naturally people laugh because they find it really amusing, not realizing that they’re giving the parrot a license to do it as much as possible.”
Later speaking with BBC News, Nichols explained that the parrots “swear to trigger reaction or a response,” which is the response they get by shocked people who end up laughing, only encouraging the adorable creatures to spew out more profanities.
“With the five, one would swear, and another would laugh and that would carry on,” Nichols said.
Though none of the visitors complained about the language, and most found it amusing, keepers at the center didn’t want to ruffle any feathers, and separated them from each other and from the public.
“When a parrot tells you to ‘f*** off’ it amuses people very highly,” Nichols said.
In a Facebook video showing the parrots’ cheeky words, online users chimed in with comments.
“I remember looking at the birds and one said ‘cheeky lady come here’ so I laughed and he/she got closer then said ‘F*** off’ then made a giggling noise funniest part of the day,” writes one fan.
Others said that separating the hilarious birds was a bad idea.
“If you split them in 4 different enclosures [they] prob teach the other ones how to swear and you end up with more,” writes one. A second shares: “…I would laugh my ass off if a bird told me to ‘f*** off’– put up a sign to keep kids out or parents know what is going on.”
A third says writes: “It was wrong to separate the parrots. They are extremely social creatures with each other and it could harm them to keep them separate. Too bad about the damn kids. It’s the birds who live there.”
Explaining the intent with keeping the dirty birds apart, Nichols added: “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.”
Netizens begged the center to allow the birds to be together again. “Keep them together and make them an adults-only attraction. As soon as we can travel, we’ll flock to see them.” Another says: “Seems to me make a special area for these swearing birds…post adults only swearing birds…I’d come just to see them.”
In February 2022, the center gave into the pleas from the public and reunited the adorable birds, who for months were integrated with other African Greys holding different vocal abilities.
“We hoped that they would learn from what they heard repetitively over time. Some of these parrots are exceptional talkers so the plan was that they would pick up some of their good words.” Not clarifying if the center is now filled with foul-mouthed birds, Nichols continued: “Sadly, it’s not really happened that way.”
The chain of profanity and giggles continues, as “Billy might swear, and then Tyson will laugh, and then Eric will swear and Jade will laugh.”
“People have demanded that they get put on show, so we’ve stopped worrying. I think we will have more problems with people swearing than parrots swearing.”
He added: “There’s a warning there if people don’t want to stand there.”
These African Greys are the only famous bird at Lincolnshire Wildlife Centre. Chico, a double yellow headed Amazon, has been wowing audiences with his rendition of Beyonce’s ‘If I Were a Boy‘.
These birds are hilarious, and we think they are a great attraction that will help the center raise more funds to continue doing the great things they do!
What do you think about this story and swearing birds?
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