A group of impolite parrots, notorious for their swearing habits, is undergoing a reform process with the assistance of birds from a new flock. The goal is to encourage them to adopt less offensive sounds. In 2020, five vulgar African gray parrots were donated to Lincolnshire Wildlife Park in eastern England. They were initially isolated from the flock to improve their language, as reported by CNN.
Starting on January 23, the wildlife park’s team has taken a different and riskier approach by integrating three newly donated, offensive parrots – named Eric, Captain, and Sheila – alongside the original five rebels into the flock. The park’s chief executive, Steve Nichols, mentioned, “When we came to move them, the language that came out of their carrying boxes was phenomenal, really bad. Not normal swear words. These were proper expletives.”
Explaining the strategy, Steve stated, “We’ve put eight really, really offensive, swearing parrots with 92 non-swearing ones.” If successful, the eight swearing parrots could learn “nice noises like microwaves and vehicles reversing” favored by the other parrots in the flock.
However, Steve acknowledged the risk, saying, “If the other 92 pick up the obscenities, it’s going to turn into some adult aviary.” Following the initial isolation, described as “mostly” successful, the parrots still occasionally swear and even laugh afterward, mimicking the most common reaction to their foul language, according to CNN.
Parrots precisely mimic the sounds they hear, and Steve explained, “six of them have got men’s voices, two of them have got ladies’ voices, and when they’re all swearing, it does sound really bad.” The park has installed large signs warning visitors about the parrots’ language, but Steve revealed that they haven’t received a single complaint.