When children curse, they get put in time out. Apparently, that punishment is relatively similar at Lincolnshire Wildlife Park in England. When a group of African gray parrots at the park started swearing at visitors, the five birds were put in time out.
The birds, named Eric, Jade, Elsie, Tyson and Billy, were all donated to the park the same week in August from five different people and were put in quarantine together before being on display. Somehow, during that time period, they all started to swear at each other. “‘F**k off’ is the most common one,” Steve Nichols, the park’s CEO, said to CNN during an interview, but apparently, they know many profanities. “Anything you can think of,” he said.
The problem is that once around visitors, the animals were far from shy about showing off their vocabulary and the park was concerned about children being sworn at and learning some bad words from potty-mouthed parrots.
The birds may have been encouraged by park staff who laughed at their obscenities, as Nichols told Lincolnshire Live, “The more they swear the more you usually laugh which then triggers them to swear again.”
The birds also learned how to laugh at bad words, which created a vicious circle of profanities and laughter. “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,” he said.
To prevent the birds from insulting everyone who comes by their enclosure, the birds have been separated.
“What we will do now,” said Nichols, “is release them out but in separate areas so at least if they do swear it is not as bad as three or four of them all blasting it out at once.”