LIFE

The Parrots At A Wildlife Center Had To Be Separated After They Encouraged Each Other To Swear

by Karen Belz
Karen Belz has written for sites such as Bustle, HelloGiggles, Romper, and So Yummy. She's the mom of a sassy toddler and drinks an alarming amount of Sugar-Free Red Bull in order to keep up with her.

This just goes to show you that even parrots need to be separated if they’re bad influences on each other.

A wildlife park in England had to think up a solution to separate five of its parrots. The reason: The parrots started treating guests disrespectfully. But if you’re not offended by a potty mouth, you have to admit — it’s pretty funny.

The birds, who are homed at Lincolnshire Wildlife Centre, were new arrivals in August. Named Billy, Jade, Elsie, Eric, and Tyson, they all seem to get along quite well. But, maybe a little too well.

Due to a little bit of peer pressure, it seems like this group of birds thought it’d be funny to curse at guests.

Now, parrots often do mimic bad words. But usually, not in such a large group.

“We are quite used to parrots swearing, but we’ve never had five at the same time,” said Steve Nichols, the zoo’s chief executive, reports People. “Most parrots clam up outside, but for some reason these five relish it.”

It’d be even better if the animals around them also found it to be humorous. These birds could easily build up a reputation as being class clowns. If anything, it’s proven that birds are great at forming new alliances.

From the sounds of it, it seems as if the issue may have gotten worse over time. “When a parrot tells you to ‘[expletive] off’ it amuses people very highly,” Steve said. “It’s brought a big smile to a really hard year.”

While adults may be able to laugh it off, it’s important to remember that kids are often big fans of exhibits like these as well.

And while it may have made for a funny video to share on Instagram, no type of zoo or wildlife exhibit wants its claim to fame to be that its parrots bully guests.

Even worse, if a guest laughed at one of the cursing birds, it supposedly triggered the parrot to keep cursing. “With the five, one would swear and another would laugh and that would carry on,” Steve explained to the BBC.

Of course, Steve has a lighthearted take of the situation. He was quick to point out what might happen after the birds felt used to their separation.

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

This is the second time the park has gone viral due to parrot behavior. This year, the world was also introduced to Chico the parrot who is seemingly a big Beyoncé fan. Chico dazzled guests with his own rendition of “If I Were a Boy.” It’s possible the five new parrots were trying to figure out what behavior would get them in the spotlight as well.

Chico is a 9-year-old yellow-crowned Amazon parrot. His passion is to entertain, and he’s been an important part of the park. Becoming a viral hit helped bring extra attention to the park. Chico even has his own Instagram page, and is still reveling in the attention.

In case you were curious, the Lincolnshire Wildlife Park specializes in parrots — and that can be why it has so many incredible parrots on its grounds. The entire organization was founded by Steve Nichols, who obviously is still very involved. He studied parrots but realized there wasn’t a lot of information out there about them. Initially, he envisioned that he’d be helping parrots on a local scale.

But when word got out, Steve became inundated with calls from all over the world about parrots. “Within 12 months of the organization commencing, the work Steve was doing was quickly recognized by all the animal welfare bodies such as the RSPCA, RSPB and the Police Forces Nationwide,” the website states. “It became apparent that should anyone need any assistance within the parrot world, Steve’s name was first to be mentioned.”

From there, Steve started taking in unwanted parrots, and even toured them around to places to talk about parrot health and keeping parrots as pets. As an act of goodwill, he also brought his birds into children’s hospices, to let sick kids play with the birds and have an enjoyable moment. This was wonderful, but short lived, because he wanted to make sure that his birds didn’t bring in any type of infection to a sterile environment.

And, that’s when the idea of a bigger sanctuary came up. That way, children would be able to visit the birds, and the birds will have a wonderful environment to live, grow, and be part of an educational program. Remember, parrots live for many years. PBS Pet Travel states they normally live anywhere between 30 and 70 years, depending on type. Some live longer.

Steve looked at 150 potential sites before finding his new home. Eventually, he found a flat piece of land that’d end up serving as the perfect location for his dream of The National Parrot Sanctuary. As of right now, the park houses over 100 different species of parrot and has saved many of these birds’ lives.

The rest of the park has also grown to include tigers. The first Bengal tigers came to the site in 2015, and the park also has white lions, lemurs, monkeys, meerkats, and even an otter. The otter’s name is Mij, and he’s shy — especially in comparison to the parrots.

One of the most interesting things about the parrots Eric, Jade, Elsie, Tyson and Billy is that they were donated from different owners. Many might think the five had a lifelong bond, but they just became friends as they were quarantining together on site. And, they’ve all encouraged one another to use colorful language.

“‘[Expletive] off’ is the most common one,” Steve told CNN. “It’s a very easy one for them to learn.” But, he admitted that it doesn’t stop there, and that the five birds were capable of saying even more offensive phrases. One of the birds even called Steve fat.

While they may be one of the main reasons to visit the park, they shouldn’t be the only reason. Aside from possibly being sworn at, guests will also learn a lot about parrots. With the right owner and the right knowledge about their care, they can make excellent — and highly entertaining — pets.