Fowl language: Gray parrots separated at British zoo after swearing a blue streak

An African gray parrot at Lincolnshire Wildlife Centre in Friskney, England
One of five African gray parrots at a zoo in England that were separated by keepers who say they were encouraging each other to swear.
(Steve Nichols / Lincolnshire Wildlife Park)

A British zoo has separated five foul-mouthed parrots who keepers say have been encouraging one another to swear.

Billy, Eric, Tyson, Jade and Elsie joined Lincolnshire Wildlife Centre’s colony of 200 gray parrots in August, and soon revealed a penchant for blue language.

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


Nichols said no visitors had complained about the parrots, and most found the situation funny.

“When a parrot tells tells you to ‘f— off,’ it amuses people very highly,” he said Tuesday. “It’s brought a big smile to a really hard year.”

Nichols said the parrots had been separated to spare children’s ears. They were moved to different areas of the park so they don’t “set each other off,” he said.