Billy, Eric, Tyson, Jade and Elsie have been giving visitors to the Lincolnshire Wildlife Centre an earful of foul-mouthed language recently. No, they’re not disgruntled zoo workers. Rather it’s the swearing of African gray parrots that has been causing headaches. But will the cure be worse than disease?
Keepers at the British wildlife sanctuary had to separate the birds after they began actively encouraging each other to yell at the type of words normally heard from a drill sergeant, or Samuel L. Jackson.
According to the Associated Press report the five birds were recent arrivals to a colony of over 200 African gray parrots. While in quarantine they learned some bad habits.
The British tend to appreciate the odd ‘blue’ comedian. So it’s no wonder the sanctuary’s chief executive, Steve Nichols, said there had been no complaints.
"When a parrot tells you to 'f*** off' it amuses people very highly," he said. "It's brought a big smile to a really hard year."
While the bad language is fine up to a point the ‘family entertainment and education’ aspect of the centre does get tricky to maintain. So the decision was made to separate the birds into different groups of parrots. And here’s where things may get a little more difficult…
"I'm hoping they learn different words within colonies," Nichols added. "But if they teach the others bad language and I end up with 250 swearing birds, I don't know what we'll do."