ALBION, Ind. – A foul-mouthed cockatoo has workers at an animal sanctuary on notice to watch what they say.
Staffers at Black Pine Animal Park say Peaches, an 8-year-old Moluccan cockatoo, spent the first several years of her life as a house pet, where she picked up a vocabulary that can be as colorful as her feathers.
That was on display recently when a volunteer construction worker pouring concrete outside a chimpanzee enclosure yelled out began cussing after the chimp threw some feces at him, said Jessica Price, senior zookeeper at the sanctuary about 30 miles north of Fort Wayne.
The commotion caught the attention of Peaches in a nearby cage.
"She started laughing and carrying on," Price said.
Peaches then strayed from her normal vocabulary of "Hi, Peaches" and "Hi, pretty girl," reverting to a few of her old favorites.
"Go away, shut up, shut your blankety-blank mouth," Price said. "She says a lot of very bad words."
It is difficult to get birds to stop using words they have learned, she said.
"We obviously don't repeat them," Price said. "We don't encourage it."