Five African Parrots had to be removed from public view and split up after they started swearing just after being donated to the Lincolnshire Wildlife Park in eastern England.
Billy, Elsie, Eric, Jade and Tyson were given to the park by five different owners in the same week. Before being put on display they were quarantined together.
“They literally, within a very short period of time, starting swearing at each other,” chief executive Steve Nichols said. “‘F**k off’ is the most common one. I get called a fat t**t every time I walk past,” Nichols complained.
Because the swearing caused laughter from the staff, the parrots started laughing after swearing. The obscenities amused the park’s visitors, but due to concern for the younger patrons, it was decided to take the parrots off exhibit.
“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,” said Nichols.
This month’s book is Conversations with Cosmo – At Home with an African Grey Parrot. Betty Jean Craige tells of her relationship with her parrot, Cosmo. Cosmo has a vocabulary of over two hundred phrases which she uses to communicate with Betty Jean. Cooper found the book to be insightful and humorous. She loved reading about Cosmo’s jokes and antics, and found the bond between Cosmo and Betty Jean to be very touching. Of course, now Cooper wants an African Grey Parrot of her own.
Alex and Me is about the avian intelligence work of scientist Irene Pepperberg and her most famous subject, an African Grey parrot named Alex. Alex had a vocabulary of over 100 words and was able to distinguish and label colors, shapes and numbers. He also understood concepts such as “bigger”, “smaller”, “same” and “different”. Pepperberg’s groundbreaking research proved that parrots are not just mimics, but are highly intelligent and can understand the meaning of the words they use.
Cooper would highly recommend this book. His favorite parts were when Alex was being mischievous. He also thinks that the parakeets Dr. Pepperberg owned from childhood through college were the inspiration for her later success.