Parrots quarantined together pick up some fowl, er foul, language

Parrots - What you need to know

A flock of African grey parrots had to be separated after being quarantined together had some unintended consequences.

The birds learned how to swear, then laugh about the words they were mimicking while they were held in a separate area after they had been adopted by Lincolnshire Wildlife Park, the BBC reported.

The birds, Eric, Jade, Elsie, Tyson and Billy, came from different homes all in the same week, so they were in the quarantine facility together, CNN reported.

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“They literally, within a very short period of time, started swearing at each other,” park chief executive Steve Nichols said.

Then they started to put their newfound talent on display for visitors at the park.

Workers at zoo said that it was entertaining when the parrots were not on display, and they had hoped the bad habit would stop once they were out of their cages and outside, but the behavior didn’t change, the BBC reported.

The more they swore, the more people laughed and the more they would repeat the foul language.

“With the five, one would swear and another would laugh and that would carry on,” Nichols said, according to the BBC.

Even the decision to separate the bad birds could backfire.

“I’m hoping they learn different words within the colonies, but if they teach others bad language and I end up with 250 swearing birds, I don’t know what we’ll do,” Nichols said.

The Lincolnshire Wildlife Park has more than 1,500 parrots and opened in 2003, Lincolnshire Live reported.