African Grey Parrot Dilemma: British Zoo Seeks Solution to Curb Profanity Directed at Visitors

The Unusual Avian Dilemma

In the quaint town of Friskney, England, Lincolnshire Wildlife Park found itself in a rather peculiar situation. Eight African grey parrots, renowned for their intelligence and social skills, proved to be a bit too vocal – not in a charming way, but with a repertoire of foul swear words. The situation became so notorious that the park had to erect a warning sign for visitors.

The Explicit Aviary

Source: Wikipedia

The warning sign explicitly states, “Every common swear word can be heard in this aviary, so please be aware if you have people with you of a sensitive nature.” The unexpected proficiency of these parrots in profanity added an unexpected twist to the park’s attractions.

A Unique Attraction

Initially isolated to prevent offending visitors, the cursing parrots, including Billy, Tyson, Eric, Jade, and Elsie, became the unexpected stars of Lincolnshire Wildlife Park. CEO Steve Nichols humorously remarked, “You never tire of being told to eff off by a parrot. Visitors stand around the enclosure, swearing, trying to get the parrots to copy them.”

The Swearing Saga Continues

Source: Wikipedia

The saga continued in 2020 when three more parrots, Eric, Captain, and Sheila, joined the explicit ensemble. According to Nichols, their language upon arrival was not your typical swearing; it was a display of proper expletives, causing quite a stir.

A Linguistic Capability

African grey parrots are known for their ability to mimic human speech effectively. Nichols explained to CNN that curse words, spoken in a consistent tone and a few words at a time, are particularly easy for them to pick up. The predictable nature of human swearing makes it an ideal target for the feathered mimics.

The Social Solution

Source: Wikipedia

To address the unique challenge, the park has decided to integrate the eight swearing parrots into a larger flock of 92 non-swearing parrots. African greys, highly social creatures, often form large groups in the wild, communicating through various calls.

The Potential Dilemma

While Nichols hopes the swearing will diminish as the parrots integrate, he concedes that once curse words are in their vocabulary, they tend to stick. The integration with the non-swearing parrots is an attempt to dilute the explicit vocabulary, yet only time will reveal the outcome.

A Potential Adult Aviary

Nichols humorously contemplates the possibility of the swearing parrots imparting their linguistic skills to the other 92, turning the aviary into what he playfully terms “some adult aviary.”


The tale of Lincolnshire Wildlife Park’s swearing parrots adds a humorous and unexpected twist to the world of wildlife encounters. The park’s attempt to integrate the foul-mouthed feathered friends into a larger flock showcases the challenges and delights of dealing with the uncanny abilities of African grey parrots.


  1. How did the swearing parrots become an attraction?
    • Initially isolated, visitors found the explicit vocabulary amusing, turning the parrots into stars.
  2. Why integrate swearing parrots with non-swearing ones?
    • Lincolnshire Wildlife Park aims to dilute the parrots’ explicit language by integrating them into a larger, non-swearing flock.
  3. Can the swearing vocabulary be completely eradicated?
    • CEO Steve Nichols believes that once in their vocabulary, curse words are challenging to eliminate entirely.
  4. What makes African grey parrots proficient in mimicking human speech?
    • Their ability to mimic is enhanced by the consistent tone and short phrases often used in swearing.
  5. How do visitors react to the swearing parrots?
    • Visitors often stand around the enclosure, swearing, attempting to get the parrots to copy them.

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