foolish stories sometimes have important messages.
humanity’s corruptive influence at a “wildlife park” is this story’s subject. it wasn’t a story of animal cruelty. arguably, it was something worse.
in 2020, an english wildlife park became infested with f-bombs dropping from the sky. certain of the park’s winged residents were acting in a foul manner. their behavior came to park management’s attention. as a result, the park chose to separate five grey parrots due to their offense of “encouraging each other to swear.” ap.
sadly, the caretakers of parrots billy, eric, tyson, jade and elsie threw them under the branch. management’s argument for the parrot’s separation was “to save children’s ears.” “they were moved to different areas of the park so they don’t “set each other off,” the zoo’s chief executive said. ap.
the article noted that “no visitors had complained about the parrots, and most found the situation funny.” he[the administrator] noted “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.”” ap.
most likely, some visitors who enjoyed the parrots’ saltiness had children in tow. arguably, parents endorsed the parrots’ behavior while their children watched.
parrots are highly intelligent animals. having an intelligence level of a 4 1/2 year old human, the park’s parrots were perhaps smarter than many of the children visitors. these parrots’ profane speech was most likely learned from humans. likewise, humans’ reactions to the parrots’ expletives most likely positively reinforced the behavior and increased their usage. while the parrots did not understand the words’ meanings, they knew that they evoked human response.
the parrot community is a supportive one. knowing profane words’ value, they both taught and encouraged other parrots to use the words. the words get them attention and perhaps food.
the park’s separation of the parrots can be viewed as a cruel act. these animals have friendships and can live upwards of 40-60 years. the break up of the “foul five” may have disrupted long time relationships or prevented long term relationships. decades’ long relationships may have been destroyed. parrots are emotional and can develop mental issues. these issues can manifest in acts of self mutilation, i.e. the plucking of feathers.
the “elephant” in the park, was, “if no parents complained, why should the park care?” the next question is that, if the park truly cared about the children, why did they not separate the children from their true bad influence, their parents!
in sum, the story is a reminder that children, like parrots, hear everything thing and repeat everything. thus, when parents use profane language or let their children hear it on the tv or internet, there will be far reaching consequences. likewise, children, upon learning these words, will likely share them with their peers. like the park, it is quite possible that your children may be separated from their peers for encouraging bad behavior.
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