A group of African gray parrots who were quarantined together at a wildlife park in Lincolnshire, England, taught each other how to swear, Lincolnshire Live reported on Monday.
The five birds arrived at Lincolnshire Wildlife Park in August and shared a room, the park’s chief executive, Steve Nichols, told reporters.
The foul language made staff members laugh, which encouraged the birds to keep going with their naughty words, Nichols told Lincolnshire Live. The parrots started to equate swear words with laughter and would start laughing at their own obscenities.
It’s not uncommon for parrots to learn swear words and be encouraged to continue when they see people enjoy their vulgar comedy.
“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,” Nichols told Lincolnshire Live.
By the time the park reopened to the public, the birds had gotten in the habit of calling visitors names. Staff and customers got a laugh out of it, Nichols said, but the park decided to move them to an enclosure until their vocabulary improved.
“We put them in an off-shore enclosure with the intention that hopefully they will start learning the other parrot’s noise that are around,” Nichols told Lincolnshire Live.
He added: “What we will do now 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.”