Thursday, 26 May 2011

Red Faced?

Swearing parrot leaves zoo keepers red-faced

A ‘fowl-mouthed’ parrot has left his keepers red-faced after a string of visitors reported him – for SWEARING at them.

Jasper the 11 year-old scarlet macaw has hurled a volley of abuse at a string of visitors who approach him in his cage at Dartmoor Zoo, Devon.

He can be heard throughout the zoo squawking ‘b****r off’ and w****r to visitors who come too close or try and speak to him.

Jasper’s keepers have become so fed up with his foul-mouthed antics they have been forced to try and tone down his language amid fears he may upset kids.

Dartmoor spokesman Tim Steward said: ”It can be pretty embarrassing when he gets into his flow.

”Jasper’s by far and away the loudest animal we have here and you can literally hear him from anywhere in the grounds and his swearwords echo around the zoo.

”Every so often you’ll hear him swear at the top of his lungs and you don’t know where to look.

”So far people have been pretty good about it and we haven’t received too many complaints – I think most have seen the funny side.

”But it’s not ideal and we’re just hoping he picks up a few more words and increases his vocabulary.

”There’s not much we can do but we’re hoping he tones it down a bit at some point.”

Jasper was brought to the zoo as a chick almost 11 years ago, although he has only recently started swearing at visitors.

Scarlet macaws are native to central and south America where numbers of the bird have suffered from deforestation and hunting in its native countries.

The birds are renowned for their ability to repeat words and short phrases and keepers believe the language has been picked up after mimicking mischievous visitors.

Tim added: ”I’d love to think this was simply a case of him picking up the odd word here or there but I fear this isn’t the case.

”I’ve no idea what we can do to tone it down but we have to do something. It’s embarrassing.”

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